UTHSC Human Resources Employees Reach Out to Help Coworker in Need

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Pass it On gift
From left, WREG’s Richard Ransom joined Darnita Brassel, Human Resources training administrator, and Chandra Alston, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources, in surprising Cassandra Caldwell, a benefits specialist, with a financial gift from the station’s “Pass it On” feature.

The mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is centered around helping people. That mission applies internally, as well as externally.

Support given recently to new employee Cassandra Caldwell is a perfect example.

Benefits Specialist Cassandra Caldwell was moved to tears by the generosity of her coworkers in nominating her for WREG-TV’s “Pass it On” feature.
Caldwell was moved to tears by the generosity of her coworkers in nominating her.

A benefits specialist in the Human Resources Department, she was the recipient of a financial gift organized by her coworkers, who saw a need and went into action.

Caldwell initially joined UTHSC about three months ago as a temporary employee, but was quickly hired on full time. However, before her health insurance could become active, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Knowing that finances would be tight as Caldwell settled into a new job, a new apartment, and medical treatment, her coworkers devised a plan. They secretly contacted WREG-TV’s Richard Ransom, whose weekly “Pass It On” segment surprises someone in need with $300 from the station and an additional $300 from an anonymous donor. Ransom was touched by Caldwell’s story, and agreed to come to campus November 3 to surprise her with the financial gift.

In the meantime, coworkers from Human Resources, campus administrators and other UTHSC team members contributed to the total.

When Ransom came to campus, Caldwell was wrapping up her work with a training class in the Student Alumni Center. The news anchor was joined by most of the Human Resources team for the Big Reveal.

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The surprise was emotional for Caldwell’s coworkers, too. From left, Debbie Jackson, Renita Mattox and Jacqueline Anderson.

Caldwell was surprised with a grand total of $1,480.

“I love you guys, I really do,” she said, wiping away tears. “You just don’t know how much this means to me. I never expected it.”

“Hopefully, this will give her some financial breathing room,” said Chandra Alston, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources.