November 03, 2021
When did you join UTHealth? What brought you here?
I joined UTHealth in 1995 after working as a social worker for a couple of years at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. A job posting at UTHealth for a newly created full-time position with a specialty program caught my attention and represented itself to offer opportunities for growth, so I applied and was excited with the possibilities.
Tell me about your work history here.
When I first started, we were a small program that provided clinical, educational, research, and pharmacy services to a very specialized population within the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Internal Medicine, Gulf States Hemophilia and Thrombophilia Center (GSHTC). As the social worker, I was able to become involved in all aspects of our treatment center program, including program operations and the Gulf States Pharmacy, which is the financial structure that supports most of our operations. After a few years in this role, our finance director left, and I was offered the opportunity to assist with our financial and business management as the financial services manager. Our budget at the time was around $12M between grants and our pharmacy operations. As our program grew through the years, I took on additional responsibilities in the areas of administration, personnel supervision, grants/contracts, and billing operations for our center and pharmacy, which has led to my role as DMO of the GSHTC and an annual operating budget of $32M.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
The many contributions I have made to the continued growth of our program through the years is something I am very proud of accomplishing. When I first started, we had 10 staff/ faculty, and now we have 28 staff/faculty that I work closely with every day to accomplish tasks. The expertise I have developed with the support of mentors and just trying things is irreplaceable.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy talking about the benefit of our program and our great staff and faculty members to anyone that questions me about what we do here in this specialty clinic. We are unique because we are part of a larger national network of treatment centers and are the third-largest program in the country – which is a wonderful reflection on our department and university. The business aspects of operating a pharmacy program can be complex and fascinating at the same time. It is very satisfying to observe all parts come together between clinical care and financial management.
Why have you stayed?
As a program within the Department of Pediatrics now that follows a pediatric and adult population, I work closely with so many departments, including accounting, legal, procurement, grants/contracts, and even UTHealth leadership. I still believe I can learn and grow to improve things. The relationships I have built throughout the years have challenged me and supported me professionally and personally, and for that I am grateful. I want to make sure I have a part in contributing to taking care of our patients and ensuring the financial health of our center and university.
When you are not at work, how do you spend your time?
When I am not at work, I spend time with my family. I have a teenager and a soon-to-be 21-year-old; my children have been a part of my whole UTHealth experience. I do enjoy cooking and trying new recipes to learn new things, enjoy a good mystery book, and am a big fan of football and baseball.