Among the nearly 17,000 employees of The Ohio State University Medical Center, these five women are finding ways to make names for themselves. You might not be presented with the opportunity to meet them when you visit our hospital, but be assured that each has affected and shaped your care here. Get to know these special staff members, in their own words.
Almeta Cooper, JD
Associate General Counsel for Health Sciences
What is your job? I serve as the chief legal officer for the Medical Center and am a member of the Medical Center's senior management team. I provide leadership and legal counsel for the Medical Center and am in charge of the Legal Services Department, with responsibility for contracts, expansion of services, affiliation agreements, risk management and insurance. I also serve as the corporate secretary for The Ohio State University Medical Center Board and The Ohio State University Health Plan.
What is your favorite part of your job? Without a doubt, the people are the favorite part of my job. I enjoy those I encounter in my role as chief legal officer, whether they are charismatic, caring, feisty or challenging.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment? My greatest sense of professional accomplishment occurs whenever I feel that I am making a value-added contribution to the mission of the Medical Center and when I witness the growth and success of members of my Legal Services team.
What are you proudest of personally? There's not a year that passes that I don't feel fortunate to be the mother of my daughter, Elise Adele Nelson. Her sense of justice, her inquisitiveness, her wit and her love of the global world bring me as much delight today as the first day she arrived.
What is your favorite food? That is not a simple answer for me. I love everything about food. I enjoy food preparation, presentation, recipes, dishware, cookware, spices and cookbooks. I could live on vegetables, fruit and seafood.
What do you do to stay healthy? I am currently focusing on a holistic approach to being healthy. In addition to yoga and dance, I am working with a personal trainer. I am also striving to make healthy food choices, to take my vitamins, to drink more water and to coordinate my efforts with my healthcare providers.
What do you do for fun? I enjoy my family and friends. I especially enjoy entertaining them — whether it's a Halloween party or a cookout.
What are three words that describe you? Resilient, thoughtful, loyal.
Clinical Director, Outpatient EMR
What is your job? My job includes providing patient care in the Executive Health and Rardin Family Practice outpatient sites as well as providing physician leadership for the electronic medical record implementation at the Medical Center. I am also privileged to be able to teach medical students as well as family medicine residents and mentor undergraduate students who want to pursue a career in medicine.
What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of my job is the interacting and collaborating that I have the opportunity to do on a daily basis with my patients and with my co-workers.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment? I enjoy being able to foster the growth and development of high school and undergraduate students as well as medical students as they become successful physicians.
What are you proudest of personally? I am most proud of my family. I have a 14-year-old daughter who keeps me young and on my toes on a daily basis.
What is your favorite food? Most fruits but especially strawberries and peaches.
What do you do to stay healthy? I watch what I eat, monitor my weight, exercise. I enjoy biking and yoga as well as walking.
What do you do for fun? I love to travel when I have the time. I have visited 49 states and six continents. I also enjoy reading and going to movies.
What is your secret to balancing work and life? I am not sure I do it as well as I would like. I try to focus on my family when I am home and leave work at the office when I can. I also try to do the same with personal issues when I am at work. I have a wonderful husband who helps make that possible.
What are three words that describe you? Reliable, caring, direct.
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology
What is your job? I am a breast medical oncologist and researcher. This means I see breast cancer patients and make decisions on treatments such as chemotherapy. I also do translational research. My research work centers around finding novel treatments that are discovered in the lab for breast cancer and designing clinical trials to make sure these are safe and effective in patients with breast cancer.
What is your favorite part of your job? I enjoy all aspects of my job. I love taking care of my patients and hearing them say they love me, too. I feel most rewarded when I see my patients go through life in fear for some time and suddenly realize that they also can be survivors and live a normal life. I also thoroughly enjoy my research work and teaching.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment? That is yet to come. It will be the day when I will no longer let any of my patients succumb to breast cancer. Until then, the work is not done.
What are you proudest of personally? I am proudest of my children. They are gems and the apple of my eye and make me most proud by what they are now and what they will be one day.
What is your favorite food? Of course, South Indian food, but I also love tiramisu.
What do you do to stay healthy? I eat less than I would like to, dance and exercise regularly.
What do you do for fun? Spend time with my kids playing Monopoly, play poker (not with real money!), watch movies, dance and read books.
What is your secret to balancing work and life? The secret is to first understand that there is no perfect balance. Second is to enjoy what you do, both at work and at home. And third is to share the joy of work at home and the joy of having a family at work. Finally, give yourself some slack…you cannot do it all perfectly, but the fact that you are trying is great.
What are three words that describe you? Passionate, funny, forgiving.
Nurse Practitioner, Department of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders
What is your job? I work with patients with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, such as essential tremor, dystonia and tics. I also work two days a month at OSU FastCare at Giant Eagle, seeing acute patients 18 months and older.
What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of my job with neurology is developing lasting relationships with our patients. Since Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive condition, we follow our patients over time and really get to know them and their families on a personal level. I also am very fortunate to have colleagues who make my daily routine very enjoyable.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment? My proudest accomplishment professionally at this time in my career is recently getting accepted to the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program for the fall. I plan on continuing my education not only with a doctorate degree, but also within movement disorders to hopefully speak at conferences and be more involved with deep brain stimulation and research.
What are you proudest of personally? My husband is my best friend and is there for me every step of the way. My family is a very important part of my life and I treasure them very deeply. In addition to my husband, my parents and brother are always very supportive and I wouldn't know what I would do without them.
What is your favorite food? Hands down, my favorite food is ice cream. Anyone who knows me will agree!
What do you do to stay healthy? I love to exercise. Not only do I like trying to stay healthy, but exercise is a stress reliever for me. I like to go to the gym for indoor cycling and weight lifting. I also enjoy running, yoga, walking our cute little cocker spaniel, Brady, and I just finished three months of P90X!
What do you do for fun? I love to shop. I also enjoy playing with Brady, spending time with my husband and going on date nights, spending time with family and friends, traveling and scrapbooking.
What is your secret to balancing work and life? Smiles and laughter are the secret for balancing work and life. Also, I think it is important to know what my limits are and that I am only one person.
What are three words that describe you? Devoted, passionate, perseverant.
Senior Associate Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
What is your job? My role is designed to develop the long-term roadmap that ensures the success of the Medical Center in creating the future of medicine to improve people's lives.
What is your favorite part of your job? The favorite parts of my job are finding talent, nurturing talent and growing talent in the organization.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment? First and foremost, the number of young executives whose careers I have played a small role in advancing. And, of course, the growth of the Medical Center from a $500-million enterprise to a $2.2-billion enterprise that discovers cures, teaches future generations of clinicians and provides amazing health care.
What are you proudest of personally? Other than my wonderful family — husband Clay, daughter Rachel and sons Cam and Matt — I am proudest of the toughness it takes to overcome life's challenges: death of loved ones, cancer, life's disappointments.
What is your favorite food? I eat a lot of cereal. Oh yeah…and Girl Scout cookies.
What do you do to stay healthy? Walk.
What do you do for fun? I have wonderful friends, but usually if I am not at the Medical Center (it's fun there, too!), I am at one of the zillion sporting events of my three kids.
What is your secret to balancing work and life? I have to let the little things go. Sometimes there is mold on the bread, unmade beds and uncombed heads, but we are so happy and blessed.
What are three words that describe you? Impatient, empathetic, funny — although not sure others think so.