Joyce LaClair, fellowship program coordinator for the division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine who also provides administrative support to faculty in the division, has a true passion for health care that dates back to her time as a student at Xavier University when she also worked as a home health aide, taking care of the elderly nuns at Mount Notre Dame in Reading.
"I loved taking care of senior citizens, so I became a state-tested nursing assistant and spent the next 10 years working at a home health agency,” she says, adding that she started out as a home health aide, advancing to a scheduling coordinator, to billing/payroll and then to office manager.
In April 2003, LaClair decided to make a career change—still staying true to medicine—when she was offered the opportunity to work in the pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine division at UC.
What are your duties?
"Beside my role as fellowship coordinator and administrative support, I am the faculty recruitment coordinator and event planner for the division.
"Most recently, I volunteered to lead a task force of four to develop a certification program for Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Coordinators though Training Administrators for Graduate Medical Education (TAGME), a national certification board. Together, we wrote a 200-question assessment, refined it, passed it, and I became the first C-TAGME certified PCCM coordinator in the country.”
What is your favorite part of the job?
"I enjoy managing the fellowship program and coordinating the day-to-day schedules of my physicians, but the favorite part of my job is the people I work with. The pulmonary, critical care and sleep physicians, fellows and staff are phenomenal. The encouragement and support I have received over the years from our division has been the highlight of my career at UC.”
Can you compare your experiences as a home health aide to those of being a fellowship coordinator?
"As a home health aide, I cared for the elderly in their homes. The type of work involved assistance with showering or bathing, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, scheduling and transporting to doctors’ appointments, making sure they were eating and taking their medicines appropriately and whatever other tasks were necessary for them to maintain their independence in their home.
"My job as a home health aide and my current position as fellowship coordinator have many similarities—not in the sense of the actual responsibilities but in the sense that I am still acting as a ‘caregiver.’ I am a caregiver by nature. Now, instead of caring for the elderly, I care for our physicians and our fellowship program.
"I miss the reward I felt from putting a smile on a senior citizen’s face and of providing some company and conversation to those that were lonely. It was amazing to do small things that make such a big impact on a human being’s quality of life. Now, I still do the same in that I find ways to make life easier on the trainees and the educators in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at UC.”
What do you like to do when you aren’t at work?
"I enjoy spending time with my family, playing with my dogs, reading and decorating.”
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