Amelia “Molly” Bluhm, a Licensed Vocational Nurse at Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, is celebrating fifty years of service to the Center, a nonprofit organization providing behavioral health services in the Rio Grande Valley since 1967.
In January 1969 Bluhm started working for what was then called the Edinburg Diagnostic and Evaluation Center (also formerly Tropical Texas Center for Mental Health and Mental Retardation). Over the past five decades, Molly has witnessed the Center’s numerous changes, from its humble beginnings in the basement of the old Edinburg Hospital, to what is now an organization that serves over 32,000 people annually in Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties, that is recognized nationally for its innovation and leadership in the behavioral healthcare field. Tropical’s CEO, Terry Crocker recognizes the value of such a loyal employee, attributing her upbeat attitude and dedication to her job, for her longevity at the Center.
Molly began her career at a time when many working people’s philosophy was “find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. That was the advice of Molly’s long-time mentor Dr. Clarence Lee Tunberg, an adult psychiatrist who she worked with for many years. Molly admits to not knowing much about Mental Health at that time but, as a nurse with a young baby at home, she was attracted to the Monday through Friday, eight to five schedule that would allow her to be a working mom. When asked about her long career at Tropical Molly stated, “Once I started working at Tropical it never crossed my mind to work anywhere else. Working at Tropical has helped me with my own mental health. As I listened to the Psychiatrist talk to the clients I would implement what they said into my everyday life.”
Molly says there is yet another aspect of the job that has kept her at Tropical for so many years besides the great leadership and staff who treat her like family. Years ago, a woman came to visit Ms. Bluhm at the center stating her father had been a patient of Ms. Bluhm’s when the woman was a young girl. She shared memories of nurse Bluhm visiting their home to provide services to her father. She shared that she was so inspired by Ms. Bluhm’s gentle care and attention to her father’s needs, that she too become a nurse, so she could help others the way nurse Bluhm helped her family. Molly says it is the heart-warming gratitude from that young nurse and other patients and families that inspires her to not only keep showing up to work every day, but to give her best to the patients she serves and their families.
Molly’s level of dedication to her job and the people Tropical serves is inspiring and it is an honor to have her work for Tropical. Thank you for fifty years of service Molly.