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4 Women at the Glenrose Share Their Stories on International Women’s Day

Every March 8, we celebrate the profound achievements of women globally on a day that we mark as International Women’s Day.  

This year’s theme, #InspireInclusion, has us thinking about how we can collectively contribute to a world that is gender equal, free of bias, discrimination, and stereotypes, and rich with diversity and inclusivity. As we reflect on what this day means to us, we talked to a few of the wonderful women in healthcare at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital to share what International Women’s Day means to them. 

Lisa Froese, Site Director

What does being a woman in healthcare mean to you?

Lisa FroeseThe opportunity to support our patients, their loved ones and our amazing teams within rehabilitation has been a great privilege and passion of mine over the last 25+ years. When individuals find themselves needing to access our services, it is often a vulnerable and challenging time for them. Our patients come filled with hope, courage, and optimism as they enter our doors and it is inspiring to work in this setting, supporting the best experience and outcomes for our patients and teams. 

Tell me about the women who inspire you.

I have been extremely fortunate to have mentors and supporters early in my career (and today!) and an upbringing that provided me with a strong foundation and foundational elements that I still draw on every day. Starting with my mama, teachers and an early mentor, some of the key areas that I try to lead with are, being open, honest, transparent, mindful, kind, compassionate, respectful, and trustworthy.    

The next woman to make a difference and change the world could be you!

What is one piece of advice you would give to the next generation of women?

I’ll summarize with two of my favorite quotes from Michelle Obama: “There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish.” and “The future of our world is only as bright as the future of our girls.” 

Lynette Lutes, Senior Operating Officer 

What does being a woman in healthcare mean to you?

Women are pivotal in providing safe quality care. I am pleased to stand alongside all the women in healthcare and ensure that people in Alberta can receive the care that will let them have their best life! 

Tell me about the women who inspire you.

Lynette LutesThere are many women that stand out to me, but here a few that come to mind, my mother, women at the Glenrose, and Brené Brown. My mother was a caregiver for my grandparents for over 10 years. She patiently cared for them and ensured that their needs (and wants) were always met. She never seemed to mind taking care of even the smallest request. Directors and managers at the Glenrose, they constantly amaze me. They are compassionate, strong, and focused women who want the very best for their team members, and our patients and families. And Brené Brown, she is witty and so very practical. Makes me get out of my comfort zone. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to the next generation of women?

Continue to be part of the solution – bring your ideas and perspectives! 

Dr. Jessica D’Amico, Scientific Program Lead 

What does being a woman in healthcare mean to you?

Jessica DAmicoBeing a woman in clinical research allows me to be at the forefront of medical science, contributing to groundbreaking discoveries and innovations that improve patient care and health outcomes. I am using my skills and knowledge to push the boundaries of what is known and to challenge the status quo. As a woman, and a single mother, it signifies resilience in the face of gender-based obstacles such as bias, underrepresentation, and work-life balance challenges.

Tell me about the women who inspire you.

I have been fortunate to be surrounded by several strong, inspiring women in my life, both personally and professionally. My mother is one such woman who I have seen face numerous challenges with grace, persistence, and resiliency. Having immigrated with her young family to Canada, leaving all support networks behind, she navigated life-changing circumstances by extending far beyond her comfort zone to do what needed to be done to support our family. She has been an exemplary pillar of strength and kindness throughout my life. Professionally, beginning with my PhD supervisor, Dr. Monica Gorassini (University of Alberta), and then my colleagues Drs. Teresa Pitts, Dena Howland and Sevda Aslan (University of Louisville), I have been blessed to be mentored and supported by successful, intelligent, and empathetic female researchers who understand the barriers we face and who have provided not only exceptional career guidance but also strategies to achieve work-life balance. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to the next generation of women?

Believe in the value of your voice and your research. In a field where women have historically been underrepresented, your contributions are essential for inspiring change and promoting gender equity. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and seek out mentors. Let your passion drive you, let your curiosity guide you, and keep pushing boundaries.

Know that you’re not only advancing your career and the field, but also paving the way for future generations of women in science. 

Michelle Roy, Senior Project Manager, BCI

What does being a woman in healthcare mean to you?

Michelle RoyOne of the reasons I love working in healthcare is that there is a larger proportion of women around! Girl power! Regardless of position, I’ve worked with so many strong women and I’ve learned from all of them. I like that people that work in healthcare are naturally caring and compassionate, which creates a supportive culture. 

Tell me about the women who inspire you.

Throughout my career, I’ve had so many amazing women to look up to and learn from. Most of my managers over the years have been women, as well as some really incredible hospital and foundation leaders. I’ve learned to embrace all aspects of my identity: as a woman, a mother, and someone who works really hard at my job. It’s ok to want (and have) it all! 

What is one piece of advice you would give to the next generation of women?

Take every single opportunity that comes your way. You are capable. Never let the fear of the unknown hold you back. 

Thank you to these wonderful women of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital for sharing their stories and inspiring future leaders in healthcare. 

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