And a warm thank you to many others for the work they do every day
Kudos to some of Yale Medical Group's top nominated administrative assistants (l-r): Christine Marien, Beatrice Guess, Lisa Galella, Janice Vasil, LeeAnn Lofaro, Josica Johnson, Hilmer Ayuso, Carmel Lepore, Patricia Capone and Janine Hoffman. Ann Cohen DePalma is not pictured.
LeeAnn Lofaro is quiet, kind, thoughtful, compassionate and humble. She is also a powerful force in getting things done.
Senior administrative assistant can be a high-pressure position when you work in a leadership office in the Yale School of Medicine. Lofaro, who is Yale Medical Group (YMG)’s Outstanding Employee for April, works for Chief Medical Officer Ronald Vender, MD, in the Office of Clinical Affairs. Her typical day might include preparing for an important presentation or finding meeting times for people whose calendars are already full. But she often goes beyond her responsibilities, serving as her office’s unofficial “Apple tech support” and recently volunteering to staff a major symposium.
On a campus where parking gets dicey, Lofaro is the “air traffic controller” finding visitors spaces in lots so they don’t have to worry about a meter running out. She keeps medical school maps in her desk and helps people who are lost walking the halls of 333 Cedar Street.
“Whenever we need assistance, we call LeeAnn. Her response is to immediately come to our aid. LeeAnn routinely puts the needs of others before her own. She’s an extremely hard worker and constantly initiates new ways to improve upon our work environment. In short, LeeAnn is our “go to” person, and our office could not function as efficiently as it does without her,” said Dr. Vender.
Deborah Lyman, one of several people who nominated Lofaro for the Outstanding Employee honor, is a compliance assistant in the Medical Billing Compliance Office. “LeeAnn is one of the most pleasant and upbeat people I have encountered in the School of Medicine,” Lyman said. “She works for one of the top executives, and yet never takes advantage of that position to pull weight, act superior or expect special treatment. Rather, she goes out of her way to work with other assistants, sharing business information, assisting with administrative duties, and pitching in where she is needed.”
When Lyman was hired, Lofaro welcomed her, introduced her to new coworkers and gave her the tour. Lyman had to cater a luncheon for 14 high-level people in her first week on the job. Lofaro proposed a caterer, made sure the room was reserved, and showed up on the designated day to troubleshoot
Everyday tasks are important
But it is often the routine tasks that make administrative assistants special. “It’s all very important, even things people wouldn’t think are important,” Lofaro said. One strategy has helped her tremendously: Develop relationships by picking up the phone; don’t rely solely on e-mail to communicate. “There are people with whom I’ve had great relationships for years over the phone before meeting them in person,” she said.
Lofaro is originally from upstate New York, and held several positions before joining YMG, including assistant to a colonel on the United States Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, carrier for Fedex, and bookkeeper for her husband’s company when their three sons were young. She came to Yale six years ago, starting out in pathology before eventually joining the Office of Clinical Affairs.
“I love working here,” Lofaro said. “It’s a privilege to be at the medical school. I meet the most amazing people. I really do. I feel that what I contribute here matters.”