Associate Director of Research Operations, Duke Office of Clinical Research
Years at Duke: Four
What I do at Duke: I manage day-to-day training and communications for the Duke Office of Clinical Research, which provides support for personnel performing clinical research across the Duke Health. We’re here as a service to the research community. We offer training courses, outreach, study start-up, study coordination, database assistance and communications help to the research community. We also offer classes, both instructor led and Web-based. We manage researchers’ required learning so that they can do all the research that they need to do. I’m a trainer. I love to train. I’m a people person. I was probably born talking and I’m pretty sure that my mother didn’t have to teach me a word.
What I love about Duke: I think that Duke has some of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and Duke was my healthcare facility. Duke is a large institution yet we are able to treat you like you’re not at a large institution. People get treated like humans. Duke does become your family.
A memorable day at work: I was on my way to a training class at Duke North and a heart transplant patient stopped me in the hallway to ask me where I was going in such a hurry. We talked a bit as he walked with me to my training class about his stay at the hospital and as I began the class later, which was about Maestro Care, the electronic health record system, I was able to use that man’s story as an example of a type of patient that the new system would help. It was really a full circle kind of moment.
Something unique about my office: I collect angels and have them in my office. I have two or three that I take with me everywhere I go. I have a strong religious belief. I believe in miracles and here at Duke we see them every day.
First ever job: The water bill department in my county (Caldwell County in western North Carolina). My mother’s friend was the office manager and I guess she owed my mother something because she hired me. My favorite customer was my grandmother. I was devoted to the job. I did whatever they asked me to do, no matter how boring it was.
Best advice ever received: Just be true to yourself. Be yourself at all costs no matter who people expect you to be. I firmly believe that what you give out you get. I’m hopelessly in love with people. I want them to leave my presence with a smile on their face.
Something most people don’t know about me: I’m really very shy. I like to watch other people accomplish. I don’t really like to toot my own horn. I get my greatest joy in watching other people reach their heights.
If I could have a superpower: I would be invisible. I would secretly do things for other people to make them happy.
If I wasn’t doing this job I would be: I would have my own retreat in the country for teenagers. I must have a teenager’s brain. I get them. I like the way their brains work. I like the way they say what they feel.