What is your position and role at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare? I’m a physician administrative assistant in pediatric neurology.  One of my favorite activities is “punting!”  I love those days when parents are calling with their children’s needs, doctors need help with their work, administrative matters are pending,and I’m constantly triaging ongoing and ever-changing situations.  I’m not sure I’d want every day to be totally crazy, but I do enjoy it.  I’ve sometimes thought if I’d pursued a medical degree, I’d have gone into emergency medicine.  There’s a certain adrenaline rush to not knowing what to expect next, but knowing you have to deal with it.

Meet Us Monday - Carol Sumerfelt, Physician Administrative AssistantDo you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? I’d been here only five months when I attended an educational session Dr. Wical conducted on infantile spasms.  Less than two weeks later, I was working late one evening and received a call from a distraught mother dealing with this issue. I paged Dr. Wical, who determined  the child should be admitted the next morning.  At that point, I had absolutely no idea how to arrange an admission!  But we managed through it and the child was admitted and started on medication.  That Christmas her mother sent me a family picture. The child was completely back to being her normal self!

What do you like best about working at Gillette? The people and the purpose!  In the course of my many different careers, I’ve occasionally tried corporate life, but could never stay with it.  I’m only happy working with good people for a purpose that directly affects the wellbeing of those in need.  At Gillette, we have sincere, dedicated employees and we affect the lives of very vulnerable children who truly need us.  I’ve been here over ten years now and still love it.

Do you have any children or pets? Pets galore!  I have 17 parrotlets, one brotogeris parrot, eight society finches and three cats.  They’re a lot of work, but great fun.  Daisy is my tamest parrotlet and loves to have her head and neck scratched.  Then there’s Sunny, who loves conversations, Chip who pulls my hair and Max (the brotogeris) who’s always checking my hands for treats.  Among the cats, Chester swats magnets off my refrigerator and papers off the bulletin boards, and sticks his nose under stacks of paper, flips them up and watches them fly all over. My home is in constant chaos.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Israel! I spent time in Israel some years ago and would love to go back.  I’d also like to visit my relatives in Belgium.  One of my grandfathers was sent to America during World War I when he was very young.  His older brother had a false wall in his shoe repair shop where he hid American flyers who were shot down and smuggled them to safety.  Grandpa was the youngest son but his birthdate was falsified to get him out of the country.

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