From Los Alamos Medical Center:
At Los Alamos Medical Center, we are blessed to have so many fantastic team members who are committed to our mission of making communities healthier and who live our core values each and every day.
The following is the second in a Q&A series highlighting several dedicated LAMC employees who have served our communities for decades. This week, the employee we are featuring up is Lori Coffelt, Risk Manager, who has worked at our hospital since 1982.
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your first role when you first started at Los Alamos Medical Center? What positions have you held since then?
Answer: I started at LAMC in June of 1982 as a nurse’s aide. I then moved to the role of ward clerk/nurse’s aide, and I worked on the Medical, Surgical and Obstetrics floors. Two years in, I finally realized how much I loved what I did, so I went to nursing school. I first became a Licensed Practical Nurse and by this time I had moved to the Emergency Department. A year later, I became a Registered Nurse and remained in the ED until 6 years ago. I was the Emergency Department Director for four years over that time. I then moved into the Quality Director/Risk Manager position for two years. I was planning on retiring when I was asked to be the Interim Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) until they could find a permanent CNO — this turned into a year due to COVID. Once we hired a permanent CNO, I was then asked to stay on in the Risk Manager position part-time. I had the honor of being the Interim CNO again last year for about 5 months and am currently enjoying my role as Risk Manager again. Guess retirement will have to wait; I’m still enjoying what I do.
Q: What is your favorite part of working at LAMC?
A: My favorite part would have to be the people. The people I work with, and, more importantly, the people I had the privilege of caring for. I learned so much and was humbled by the experiences I had every day when working at the bedside.
Q: Over all these years serving our community and working with so many people, what stands out to you the most?
A: The support we felt from our community as we navigated the uncharted waters of COVID. For us things were changing daily, sometimes even hourly. As our staff stepped up to everything that was thrown at them, from wearing tight-fitting masks to standing beside a patient dying without their loved ones beside them except through the iPad, our community showed their appreciation of them by sending good wishes and food when possible. That’s when I knew I was in the right place caring for my community and neighbors.
Q: Our hospital was recently named a Lifepoint Health National Quality Leader. How do you play a role in delivering safe and quality care to our community?
A: I manage our policies and our Incident Reporting System, RL6. As the Risk Manager I think it is important that our staff have current policies and procedures to guide their work and assure that we are working according to our policies and procedures. Our RL6 is the voice our staff can use to speak up about any concerns or events that happen, including “good catches.” Good catches give us the opportunity to work on processes that left unchecked could lead to harm. They are our eyes into the everyday world of our front-line staff.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work? Are you involved in any community organizations?
A: I love to golf and go on golfing vacations. I also enjoy doing most types of crafts and jewelry making. Now that I live in Las Cruces, I am no longer involved in community organizations.
Q: What would you tell someone who is potentially interested in working at LAMC?
A: LAMC is a great place to start your career. It gives you the opportunity to put into practice what you learned in school, unlike big facilities where there are a lot of newbies just like you trying to get in experience. There are also opportunities for advancement or even to just try different departments, allowing you to grow your skill sets. I have been blessed with so many opportunities here; I guess that is why it is so hard for me to leave.
Are you interested in working with great people like Lori? Find LAMC career opportunities by visiting www.losalamosmedicalcenter.com/careers