Ornell H. Balzer, R.N., Oral History Interview, September 4, 2003

Title

Ornell H. Balzer, R.N., Oral History Interview, September 4, 2003

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Description

Topics Covered:

  • Early nursing at MD Anderson
  • Working at the The Baker Estate
  • Nursing work at MD Anderson
  • Interactions with employees and patients

Identifier

Balzer_OH_01_20030904

Publication Date

9-4-2003

Publisher

The Historical Resources Center, The Research Medical Library, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Disciplines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History

About the Interview

This interview with Ornell Balzer begins with the evolution of her career at M.D. Anderson. She recounts how she moved to Houston after graduating from nursing school and her return to M.D. Anderson. Ms. Balzer then details her memories of time spent working at Baker Estate and her interactions with colleagues and patients.

Ornell Balzer was one of the first four nurses to work at M.D. Anderson. She was born in Shaws Bend, near Columbus in central Texas and graduated from the Brackenridge School of Nursing at University of Texas in Austin in 1949. Her career at M.D. Anderson began in 1949. She spent three years at M.D. Anderson before leaving to work in a doctor’s office. In 1960 Ms. Balzer returned to M.D. Anderson as the head nurse during the start of the cancer center and later worked in radiotherapy. She was well-known to many employees at M.D. Anderson and can be seen in photos in the MdGovern Visitors Gallery and in the historical text, “The First Twenty Years of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute.” Ornell Balzer passed away on October 9, 2005 at the age of 93.

Ornell H. Balzer, R.N., Oral History Interview, September 4, 2003

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