Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa Infection Control Wins North Bay Forty Under 40 Award

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What’s your most hated industry buzzword?

I squeak a little when I hear the phrase “handy fruit”.

In healthcare, handy fruits are especially annoying because they represent something obvious or easily fixed with little effort. These situations often take a disproportionate time to deal with their importance, but cumulative can become a significant challenge to overcome.

Typical day at the office: In my case, there is no such thing as a “typical” day! Most mornings I start by checking my emails and reporting in our morning leadership meeting.

Subsequently, I work on a variety of projects that could involve a combination of any of the following: presenting at meetings, filming the care environment, reviewing patient charts, conducting isolation rounds, drafting or updating of establishment policies, development of educational material.

I love the variety of responsibilities I have as an infection prevention professional and enjoy the challenge of lifelong learning in a multitude of areas of medicine and health.

From a business standpoint, what is most important about being under 40? and then what is the worst?

The best thing about being under 40 is having the energy to keep up with such a fast pace of work. I’m grateful that I can wake up early, work a full day, and still have the time and energy to hit the gym and cook dinner.

The worst part about being under 40 is the perceived lack of experience. While with time comes the experience, the lived experience is often underestimated. Since starting my role at Queen of the Valley, I have experienced earthquakes, wildfires and a global pandemic!

Best place to work outside of your office: I’ve found that one of the most productive places to work outside of my office is when I’m traveling by plane (before COVID-19, of course). Being stuck in one place with very few distractions would allow me to focus my concentration and often accomplish a lot in a matter of hours.

I also love to sit in a cafe with my laptop while sipping a cappuccino – Ritual is one of my favorite places in the area.

Hobby: Outside of work, you can often find me taking classes at Napa Aerial Fitness. I decided to try aerial acrobatics when Studio Napa opened in 2017, and it was love at first sight on the first flight!

I took part in several shows and even started giving aerial hammock lessons.

It’s one of my favorite ways to exercise and decompress. I also love to cook, bake and try new recipes. I’m always on the lookout for new, plant-based dishes full of flavor!

On weekends, I like to enjoy the outdoors by running, hiking or biking along the vineyard trail. I recently got interested in mycology (the study of fungi) and enjoy nature walks looking for different species of fungi.

What you wanted to be growing up: I knew from an early age that I wanted to work in the health field.

At first I thought it could be as a doctor, specializing in dermatology or geriatrics. I also considered becoming an avian vet, due to my passion for birds. Once I discovered the field of public health and epidemiology, I realized that I had found my true calling.

The most important thing you want to accomplish before the age of 40: I would like to become a member of the Association of Infection Control and Epidemiology Professionals (FAPIC). Fellow of APIC status is an honorary distinction for infection prevention practitioners who are not only advanced practitioners in the practice of infection control, but also leaders in the field.

Applicants must be a member in good standing of APIC within the past five consecutive years, hold CIC certification, have a master’s degree or above, and have at least seven years of infection control work experience to apply.

In addition, potential applicants must be recognized as a named author in a peer-reviewed scientific publication and demonstrate their accomplishments in activities related to leadership, infection prevention and control, performance improvement and implementation science, as well as technical informatics and infection prevention and control.

First job: My very first job was working at Gotts Roadside at Oxbow Market (at the time it was Taylor’s Refresher). I was working weeknights after the high school bus tables and was eventually going to be a cashier. I always love going to Gotts for a veggie burger and fries!

The social networks you use the most: Facebook

Favourite book: “The great flu” by John M. Barry

Favorite movie: “Interstellar”

Preferred application: Instagram

Favorite after work drink: A glass of great red wine or a French 76 (vodka, lemon juice, sugar syrup and brut champagne).

Last holidays: My last vacation was a road trip to Big Fork, MT. Along the way, I took the opportunity to stop and explore Crater Lake, Burney Falls, and hike Sawtooth Range in Stanley, Idaho.

Once in Montana, I spent several days exploring the beauty of Glacier Park and the surrounding small towns. While this was my first time visiting Montana, I hope to be back soon for more adventures!

What does your mom or dad boast about the most?

My mom is very proud of my academic accomplishments, especially as a UC Berkeley graduate (go bears!). She likes to share that I completed my graduate scholarship in Applied Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia, working closely with colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control.

Through it all, she has always been my biggest supporter and encouraged me to pursue my dreams to the fullest.



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