Sara Jacobs, administrative coordinator in UCís Division of Trauma and Critical Care, works with division director Jay Johannigman, MD, to manage both his schedule and the workload of a very busy faculty team.
Jacobs manages Johannigmanís role as division director, his work with the American College of Surgeonsí Committee on Trauma and roles with the U.S. Military and Surgeon Generalís office, as well as managing the workflow of the division.
Though sheís been with the department of surgery for three and half years, Jacobs has seen the division grow both at UC and into the community. She tells Focus on about her previous work at UC, her experiences working in trauma and critical care and her unique businesses outside UC.
How did you first come to UC?
"I taught religious studies at UC and XU for 10 years. I was a religious studies adjunct professor and area coordinator for the religious studies certificate program for UC until 2001. My classes included World Religions, Women and Religion, Religion Medicine and Healing, and Fundamentalism. I also coordinated the other classes that were taught, with an emphasis on having UCís program be inclusive of all faiths.
"When I wanted a full-time position, I first worked as program director at Stepping Stones Center, which provides services for people with disabilities. Then I started in development at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Cincinnati and then I came here.
"I still do volunteer teaching at local churches and synagogues. Iíve taught classes on Jesus at synagogues and taught a Christian class about Judaism and Islam. Itís always a challengeóitís very interesting when you present to any group and you talk about how they are viewed by others. Itís sometimes startling. But very few people really learn about their own faith, much less learn about another faith."
Whatís changed in the division since you arrived?
"I started in 2008 and spent that year learning and just getting my feet wet. In 2009, the acute care surgery service started and that has really expanded the community footprint of the division. We offer an acute care surgeon 24 hours a day, seven days a weekóand as community knowledge about it grows, itís become a busier and busier service.
"To me, what is so admirable about our surgeons here is that the workload has expanded, the number of people in the SICU at any one time has grown, but the quality of care never dips. We have a weekly division meeting and itís always impressive how attentive everyone is to patient issues and service issues.
"There are days when you canít help but think how tiring it is, how exhausting it is for the surgeons and clinical staff, but you always know youíre working around the best.
"Administering and managing the workflow is a large part of my job. Every month, we have doctors visiting Drake Center, working in trauma clinic, Heuer clinic and private clinics. We have military rotators coming in, we interface with the trauma research team and each surgeon is also a PI on one or more research projects.
"There are 10 surgeons and thereís three of us. Itís a lot of work, but everyone here is willing to jump in and cover when neededóto answer that phone or give that lecture. Weíre always there for each other and I think thatís why we get everything done."
What do you do outside UC?
"I live in Madeira with my two girls, Eden, 17, and Liela, 15, and three little dogs. On the weekends, I practice lampwork. Itís the ancient craft of glass beadmaking. I have a business, Sarandipity Beads, and growing the business is my goal for this year.
"My older sister, who lives in Canada, taught me how to do it in 2005. I didnít want to learn at firstóI just agreed to make her happyóbut once she showed me, I loved it.
"I really like to picture the whole piece when I make beads. Very often, I think of beads when Iím running or walking, and I like to pay attention to color and color combinations. I also like making hearts; I think theyíre fun. A heart has this certain cutesy sense, but I like to make them not cutesy, more edgy or unique to each person.
"A bead is its own little work of art, its own sculpture. I have beads I made three or four years ago that Iím still waiting to find out where they end up.
"When I have friends going abroad, I send beads with them. We have beads in China, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Denmark, even Afghanistan. Dr. Johannigman took three with him on his last tour there. It is fun to think that something that started in my basement in Madeira is now being worn by somebody in another country."
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