Star Sellers has history with TriStar Centennial Medical Center, HCA Healthcare’s earliest hospital in Nashville. It was where her grandmother was treated, back when it was known as Park View Hospital; it was this hospital’s caregivers that tended to her beloved father and grandfather before they passed away; and it was the place her mother enjoyed a long-time nursing career and where Star began hers.
TriStar Centennial is the first and only place this nurse-turned-case manager has ever worked. As part of HCA’s 50th anniversary celebration, we are honoring Star and her 45-and-a-half years of commitment to care.
“I came here right out of school in 1972 and have never left,” said Star. “It was the only place I’d ever considered working because I had a lot of experience with the old Park View Hospital as a child.”
At 11-years-old, Star was introduced to HCA’s co-founder, Dr. Thomas Frist Sr. – after her grandmother was referred to his office as a patient – and to the world of nursing.
“Park View Hospital, then known as Park Vista Convalescent Center, was probably one of the earliest skilled nursing facilities in town,” she said. “As a child, I thought it was the most wonderful place in the world because I got to be around all of those nurses.”
“My grandma was a patient, so when school ended, I would come and help take care of her. I learned how to do all of those nursing things that “grown-up” nurses did. It made an impression on me and that’s when I decided I wanted to be a nurse,” Star added.
Star’s decades-long career has spanned patient care, nurse mentoring, and now, case management and a historian, of sorts. She is likely only one of a few hospital employees who knew and worked with Dr. Frist, Sr.
“Dr. Frist was very proud of the Park View Hospital,” she recalled. “After it became Centennial, he would still comeback and bring groups of dignitaries to show the hospital. And in all of those years, he never failed to look me up, put his arm around me and explain to the dignitaries how long he had known me, and how my mother and I worked together and drove 120 miles a day to work at Park View Hospital,” she said, smiling.
Centennial Medical née Park View has been like a “second home,” she says, and Dr. Frist Sr. and the staff were like family. Star remembered a time when she was just learning to cook and was telling Dr. Frist’s nurse, Jerry Jackson, about how she tried to cut up a chicken.
“I didn’t know that Dr. Frist was in his office listening to me talk about how I mangled this chicken, and he came out chuckling to himself and said, ‘poor old chicken,’” she laughed, adding that he would share that tale to the dignitaries, too.
That’s just how he was – a caring man who knew everything about everybody, she says. A trait that she believes was instilled in everyone who worked there.
Still going strong at 68 years of age, Star’s career has given her a “lifetime of memories” and a sense of awe at everything that has changed over the years, yet how much has stayed the same.
“HCA used to be just one building up the street,” Star says, “and look how Centennial has grown,” she added while sitting in a section of the original Park View Hospital. “There’s no comparison. It’s amazing.”
As for what remains constant? The people.
“I would say to new employees, I hope you want to learn a lot, see a lot and do a lot because this is the place to be,” said Star, who turned teary-eyed. “It’s a great place to work. Everybody loves everybody else. Everybody helps everybody else. You go home at night and feel like you’ve really done something for somebody when you work here.”
“And when you love what you’re doing, you want to go the extra mile and keep on doing it,” she said.
In the latest Committed to Care series, watch as Star and her colleagues talk about her more than 45-year-career at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. HCA internal audience can view here.
HCA 50th Anniversary
In 1968, HCA Healthcare was conceived by two physicians and an accomplished business leader — Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey. This year, HCA celebrates its golden anniversary and the culture of caring established by our three founders 50 years ago. To help us celebrate our 50th year, we’ll share stories here that reflect HCA’s mission – above all else, the care and improvement of human life – and our pledge to improve life and make history for the next 50 years and beyond.