While most people use a train, bus or car to get to work, or some combination of the three, Audrey Tullo has been using her own two feet. But her daily walks from her North Valley Stream home to nearby Franklin Hospital — even in the rain, snow and sleet — will end soon, as she is retiring at the end of the month.
Tullo, who has worked there for nearly 40 years, is well known to many people who routinely interact with the hospital. As the community relations liaison, Tullo has had much interaction with the public and has organized a host of events over the years.
Her career there started on Aug. 19, 1974. Tullo was dating a man whose mother was a secretary in the nursing director’s office, and learned about some job openings at Franklin. She applied for a secretarial position in public relations and was hired. Although she didn’t marry that man, a new relationship was born. “I don’t think anyone ever sees themselves in a place for 40 years,” she said. “I loved my job.”
Tullo began as a full-time employee, though went down to part-time after having her two children. They were born at Franklin, which closed its maternity ward in 1995, and were never far away as they attended the James A. Dever School — right behind the hospital.
Although she was always involved in public relations at Franklin, Tullo had numerous job titles and worked in many offices during her time there. She started out as a secretary in the Public Relations and Development Office. The department was later called External Affairs, then Community Relations. Most recently, she has worked in administration, where she assists six people as well as the hospital’s chief executive officer.
Tullo said she has had 14 bosses during her time there. Her first office was a tiny room that is now an elevator shaft. She later moved to the hospital’s annex in a converted supermarket further down Franklin Avenue, before coming back to the main building.
She saw the hospital grow a lot during her 39 years, from a small community hospital to a sprawling medical center. “It’s unbelievable to me how beautiful it is and how spacious it is,” she said of the facility. “I think we’ve come a long way in providing health care to the neighborhood.”