Breast cancer survivor offers wisdom at Faulkner satellite center
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Health Information Services, Administrative Specialist
I support Norma Chitvanni, the director of Health Information Services, as well as two managers and 30 employees in the department. I also serve on the Cultural Observance Committee as the Harbor Campus representative, helping to plan and execute DFCI's diversity events. I participate to ensure that this campus is involved in the events and programs that are happening on the Longwood Campus.
I worked as a broadcast journalist in the Army. In 2000, after graduating from Somerville, Mass. High School, I joined the reserves, reporting on military-related events, such as trainings of the military band, firefighter units, and police. About nine months after Sept. 11, 2001, I was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While on base, I continued working in journalism; writing stories, hosting a daily radio show, and shooting video footage. I interviewed and reported on guests that visited the base, including dignitaries, government officials, and celebrities. One of the most memorable was Jimmy Buffet's visit. He flew down, landed in Cuba on his water plane, and played a show for everyone on base.
I have two. The first was when I was told my unit was deploying, and we weren't told where we were going. Not knowing what the future holds is terrifying, but knowing that whatever it is, I'm fighting for the freedom of my country, is extremely gratifying.
The second was when I surprised my mother when I came home on leave from deployment. I had friends pick me up and I walked in the house at 10 p.m. and she was sleeping on the couch. She heard the door close, saw me, jumped up and ran to me, hugging me. It was like a linebacker hit me!
I've learned a lot working here. Before coming here, I thought doctors and nurses do all the treating and curing, but there is so much more than that. Take my department; our job is very important. If we don't have a patient's record scanned, clinicians will not be able to treat the patient. Every person that works for DFCI contributes to the care, treatment, and cure of cancer for patients. We should all be proud of that.
I would say helping bridge the gap between the Harbor and Longwood Campuses. I have kept the Harbor Campus updated and better connected to the activities that go on at the Longwood Campus.