Ellen Painter could not contain her tears as she stood inside the Women’s Resource Library at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton on Wednesday.
Surrounded by staff members and community friends, the library was renamed in her honor for her 22-year career and contributions to the hospital.
“It is overwhelming,” said Painter, 65, about the renaming of the library. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think something like this would happen to me. Honor is not even a good word; it is beyond that.”
Painter began her career at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton in 1990, when it was known as Denton Community Hospital.
Over the years, she worked in many areas, including the volunteer department, sports medicine and community health. Her last position was serving as marketing director.
She retired July 1 of last year.
“Across Texas Health Resources, in the majority of its hospitals there are different structures named after philanthropic donors to the foundation. We had not done that here,” said Stan Morton, the hospital’s president. “Given all of her involvement in the community and her years of service to the hospital, we thought it would be a great way to do the first naming.”
The hospital has a foundation that raises funds from many sources, Morton said, but it has also raised a lot of funds from the employees.
Last year, physicians, hospital employees, volunteers and community supporters raised $50,000 for the hospital’s first philanthropic project, the Healing Garden.
“It is about our staff, [and] it is our board that makes this hospital very special,” Painter said.
Phyllis Pittman of Cookies By Design met Painter 23 years ago when she first moved to Denton. They both serve on the hospital’s women’s advisory committee.
“She is definitely an inspiration, especially for women,” Pittman said. “She was very much a part of this. She wanted to make sure everything was perfect for this room [Women’s Resource Center]. This was a passion of hers and she saw it come to fruition.”
Painter is still part of the hospital, but now serving as a volunteer.
In addition to her hospital involvement, she belongs to numerous local organizations including the Go Red for Women luncheon committee, United Way of Denton County board and the Denton Chamber of Commerce.
Painter is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. She has been married to David Painter for 44 years. They have one daughter, Amy Painter-Todes, and one grandchild, Caroline.
“She is a great role model. It is great to see her rewarded for her hard work,” Painter-Todes said.
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .