Izabela Gasior, MS, BSN, RN, clinical coordinator at Martha Eliot Health Center (MEHC), was born in Poland and spent much of her childhood dreaming of living in America. At 21, she had earned a degree as a nurse midwife, and although she was eight months pregnant and didn't speak any English, she boarded a plane to the United States to make her dream come true. A few months later, her husband joined her, and now, 20 years later, the couple's English is flawless and they joke that their son is "an old man."
As soon as Gasior conquered English (with no formal training), she enrolled in Boston College's (BC) nursing program and began working at Children's Hospital Boston's Longwood location as a nurse on a medical floor. "I loved everything about Children's from the beginning," she says. Gasior loves a challenge and thinks education is extremely important, so she switched to nursing in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit to learn additional skills and went back to BC so she could assume a more administrative role at the hospital. "I have always been pretty goal-oriented and self-determined," she says. "I'm not going to wait for things to happen to me."
Gasior is interested in administration and a little over a year ago took on one of the six senior leadership positions at MEHC. She's now responsible for the operations of Pediatrics, Adolescent and I'm in Charge (a pre-diabetes and obesity clinic), and she supervises nurses within those departments. Recently, Gasior helped create an MEHC newsletter to improve internal communications and has implemented minor changes that have resulted in big improvements, like increased revenue and volume at the center. The two efforts that Gasior feels made the biggest difference are new strategies around customer service and courtesy, which allow patients, physicians and support staff to work together more effectively. These initiatives led for the first time to patients who couldn't make their appointments calling to cancel rather than just not showing up. This then opened those slots to other patients.
Although she loves administration, Gasior is still passionate about patient care. "It doesn't matter where patients come from, their race, ethnicity or religion," she says. "Our job is to provide the best care regardless of any circumstances they might be dealing with, and that has always been my top priority," she says. Gasior's favorite part of working at MEHC is establishing close relationships with patients and their families. "When I worked in the cardiac ICU, it was great to see a patient recover, but what's so wonderful about my job here is that we can do so much preventive care and you really get to know the whole family. That makes it special."
Gasior is so dedicated to community health that her goal for the next year is to obtain a PhD in public health. "Education has helped me open doors that I never knew existed," she says. "I'll be able to use what I know to benefit the clinic and the patients. I really do think you can make the world a better place and I really want to make a difference."