1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?
I got my job through connections I made while earning my Masters in Public Administration. One of my good friends from the program had a job opening on her team and thought I would be good for it. Being able to tie in my experience and creative passions into a single position was a dream. After learning more about the role and foundation team, I agreed, took a leap of faith, and applied. I fell in love with our mission and being able to make a difference for so many in our community inspired me to pursue a career in this field.
2. Why did you choose to make healthcare philanthropy your career?
I stumbled into my role because I loved the job description. I’ve stayed because what we do is so important. I see the impact philanthropy has on programs and services that greatly impact the health and well-being of our community. It is an honor and a privilege to hear and share the stories of individuals whose lives have changed forever because of a diagnosis and the incredible care they received in our hospitals. This pandemic has reinforced the importance of good healthcare. Seeing our healthcare heroes show up every day for our community and the way our community has shown up for them–it is inspiring and makes me so proud to work for UnityPoint Health.
3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.
I knew when I applied for my job at UnityPoint Health, all the stars were going to have to align. I was 38 weeks pregnant when I had my first interview and my second interview came two weeks after my son was born. I don’t think many companies would have waited or taken the chance. I’m so thankful my team did. Through that experience, I learned the importance of finding a company that values family and a boss who believes in looking for long-term solutions. It taught me to have confidence in who I am and what I can bring to the table and taking a leap of faith can be a good thing.
4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?
My very first job was working at a landscape and irrigation nursery. I worked with one of my oldest friends, and we had so much fun. I came home most days sunburned, covered in dirt from head to toe, and on several occasions had terrifying run-ins with snakes (I hate snakes). That experience taught me the value of a hard day’s work and when you’re doing work alongside a friend having fun–it never really feels like work.
5. What are your future aspirations?
As I move forward in my career, I want to love what I do. I want to continue to learn and grow as a leader and eventually lead a team. I hope to teach my children the importance of finding a career that brings them joy. I hope they can appreciate their mom working hard in a career she loves that gives her deep personal fulfillment in knowing she’s making a difference.
Find Liz on LinkedIn.