From Helen-Grace, I learned that good leadership involves knowing when to listen, when to speak, and when to stand your ground. All should be done with a smile. summer 2013 19 How did you land this job? I went in to interview just for an extra once-a-month weekend position to get my foot in the door. Someone asked me what my dream job would be – you know, “What would you be doing? What would your hours be?” I had decided before the interview that I would be myself – I already had a full-time job, so there was no pressure. I started telling them about this women’s program and facility I wanted to open and all the services and the markets I wanted to reach. They just sat there and looked at me. And I thought, yeah, they think I’m nuts. Shortly after they hired me for the weekend position, my boss said, “Some ladies want to meet you. It’s about women’s health. I’ll let them tell you about what they want.” We had a meeting and they said they were basically looking for someone to do exactly what I had talked about in my interview. Long story short, they thought I was right for the job and things took off from there. Why do women need specialized physical therapy services? Oh, where to start? I address a lot of problems that nobody wants to talk about and that women think they have to live with – pelvic pain, incontinence, pain with pregnancy. Some women think, “Well, my grandmother dealt with this, my mom did – now I have to.” And some women suffer silently because they are embarrassed. That is a shame, because we can often manage their issue, if not correct it, and do so conservatively. I just think there is a huge market out there that hasn’t been tapped. I had some experiences during school with patients that inspired me and made me want to serve that population. What are your hopes for the program? Education on the part of the patient and the practitioner is a big part of my goal with this. I feel there is a lot of education that needs to be done proactively in many stages of life. For example, even before a woman becomes pregnant, she needs to be educated about what to expect post-partum and what she needs to do for herself. I also feel like there should be continuum of care – it should flow. But that requires a huge amount of teamwork on the part of a lot of practitioners. I would like to bridge that gap for all stages of life. I have some patients who are in their 80s. It’s the whole lifespan, which is neat. How did Bellarmine prepare you for this opportunity? When I was at Bellarmine, I participated in a lot of things because people I admired pushed me to. It wasn’t until now, when I came into this position, that it became clear to me why I needed to do those things. I’m drawing on a lot of the skills I learned through SGA and different activities – how to network and work with different disciplines and pull together a meeting with people who intimidate you, quite frankly. I learned a lot of that at Bellarmine. Once I called a meeting with Dr. McGowan. We sat down in his office and had a nice meeting and he said, “You’re not nervous.” And I said, “Should I be?” And he said, “No, but most people are.” I said, “I figure you’re a regular guy and we can have a conversation.” I still remember that: Whatever position people may be in, they are still regular people. I learned to bridge those gaps at Bellarmine and be comfortable doing so. Two of your mentors at Bellarmine were Dr. Helen-Grace Ryan, dean of students, and Dr. Carole Pfeffer. What did you learn from them? From Helen-Grace, I learned that good leadership involves knowing when to listen, when to speak, and when to stand your ground. All should be done with a smile. What did I learn from Dr. Pfeffer? I learned that we are all called to some form of service to others. With regards to leadership, that service may be the act of leadership itself, or it may be the act of identifying and encouraging potential in others. Both are equally important. There is so much more that I could say about both of those women. I hope that does them some justice! QUESTION & ANSWER Kaelin Rybak ’74: Travel agent, Hall of BFya Cmarlae Crarlton Maggie Dye discovered her knack for leadership by accident. As an undergraduate majoring in health sciences, she was encouraged by Dr. Carole Pfeffer to join the Student Government Association. “I have a hard time saying no to people I admire, so I did it,” she says. After a year as a representative, she ran successfully for Vice President of Educational Affairs and then, as she transitioned into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, pushed for the creation of a graduate council to represent nontraditional students. Following graduation, she went to work for Owensboro Health – until a chance question in an interview for a supplemental part-time position opened the door to her dream job. She’s now coordinator of a new specialized physical-therapy program at St. Mary’s Women’s Wellness Center in Evansville, Ind., that focuses on issues unique to women. She had been on the job for about seven weeks when she spoke to Bellarmine Magazine in April.
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