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Jean Estrada, Business Manager for the Department of Social Medicine, will retire on June 30 after more than 30 years of service to the UNC School of Medicine.

Originally from California, Jean first joined the UNC School of Medicine as a secretary for the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases in 1986, before joining the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine and Allergy as an administrative assistant. In that position, she helped the department streamline and improve their financial record-keeping.

From there, Jean held business and administrative manager positions in Continuing Medical Education, the Family Support Network of NC and the Health Sciences Library, before joining the Department of Social Medicine.

“In every department I’ve been a part of, I’ve been able to increase the amount of funding coming into the department, and put procedures in place that seem to make things work better,” she says.

Jean says that while she enjoys the work and the people she works with in the Social Medicine department, the pandemic put some things in perspective for her and she decided to step back from her professional life.

“I really want to travel and spend more time with my family. I have a sister in Charlotte and a niece in Tennessee but most of my family still lives in California, including my 86 year-old mom.” She also plans on doing some international travel to places she hasn’t had a chance to visit yet – Italy, Greece, Australia and more.

Despite these exciting plans, Jean says that her departure is bittersweet: “The closer I get to the end of June, the more excited I get, but also sadder. I can have the freedom to do all the things I want but I’m sad because I’m leaving my UNC family, and after more than 32 years, UNC does become like a family.”

On behalf of your work family, congratulations Jean!