Sharon Thacker and Karen Crouch have been completing each other’s sentences for 45 years of working together at HCA Florida Brandon Hospital. Although Thacker edges out Crouch with one additional year of service (46 years), they have been called ‘The Twins’ and, by some, ‘The Queens’ due to their long reign. More specifically, Thacker is the Queen of Chargemaster and Crouch is the Queen of Fixed Assets.
Thacker’s Story Starts on June 13, 1977
“I saw in the Brandon News newspaper that Brandon Hospital was starting to interview for jobs. Karen and I were taking a two-hour class preparing to work in a business office in high school. On my resume, I included in junior high that I had worked the switchboard in the main office, a pull-out and plug-in system. Because I had that on my resume, I got the job. I started out on a switchboard with a push button console, working the second shift from 3:30-11 p.m. I moved on to a file clerk position and worked weekends because there was so much filing. Karen was waiting for me to go to lunch one weekend and that was how she landed her job,” said Thacker.
Crouch’s Story Starts On October 30, 1978
“The CFO comes out and asks if I can type something up. He takes me down to administration and provides me with a typewriter. This is before computers. You had to count spaces to get things even and center things. I made him this form, and he liked it,” said Crouch.
A month and a half later, he asked Thacker if she thought Crouch would be interested in a job.
“He interviewed me in the cafeteria. I was a flunky for a while. I ended up being his secretary. I would do what needed to be done. I was an executive secretary, payroll clerk, accountant and now I am working in fixed assets,” said Crouch.
Thacker and Crouch’s starting pay was less than $3 an hour in 1977.
Thacker and Crouch chatted back and forth but agreed, “We love the community and knew there was always a job for us. We always worked with good people. Our bosses cared about us as individuals and gave us new opportunities for advancement before we asked for a promotion. They saw our potential to do more. We have enjoyed working here.”
In closing, the twins’ retirement stats are impressive after four decades at HCA Florida Brandon Hospital: 91 years, 33,306 days, 189,280 hours.
The hospital is located at 119 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. For more information, visit www.hcafloridabrandonhospital.com.