That's Why We're Here - Lori Schwenkner, Administrative Assistant
April 26, 2023
What is your role and department?
I'm the Administrative Assistant and work closely with all of the Administrators in our organization.
What does a typical day look like in your position?
Ready-Set-Go! My day starts by reviewing and reacting to e-mails, creating and updating meeting invites. Sometimes I feel like an air traffic controller – making sure everyone get to the right place at the right time. Each day is different, there are always phone calls and visitors who I try to direct appropriately. I compile LOTS of information for monthly reports and board meetings, interviews … the list goes on and on.
How long have you been at Watertown Regional Medical Center? Have you always been in the same position?
I have worked at WRMC for 25 years, I was hired as the Nursing Secretary (a position we no longer have). I worked in that position for 5 years before moving into the Administrative Assistant position.
Why did you choose your profession? Have you always wanted to do it?
Previous to WRMC, my positions were types of support staff at other companies in Watertown (Brandt, Inc and LewiSystems). When LewiSystems moved to Oconomowoc, I tried to commute but it was too difficult while raising three kids. The job at the hospital interested me because I could be in town and also learn more about healthcare.
How do you and your department help our patients get/stay healthier?
Even though I don't work directly with patients, I help support a lot of people who do. Whether it's my time on the employee engagement committee, helping to schedule meetings with administration and providers, or sending out organizational communication, it's important that our staff stays happy and engaged so they can perform their duties at a high level. Patients also find themselves in my office when they aren't sure where they go. It's rewarding to help them find their way so they can get the care they need.
What motivates you to come back to work every day?
I love my job, it is fast paced – things are changing all the time (new services, projects, providers, events). I enjoy organizing meetings and events - keeping everyone moving forward. We have a great team and it is fun to come to work (rarely a dull moment).
What’s new in your department? Are there any new technologies being utilized?
We recently launched a new internal communication app called FirstUp. We are still figuring out the best way to use it but it's a great way to keep everyone in the organization informed and on the same page about what's going on. As far as new technology in the hospital, I know we recently renovated our Cath lab and brought in an orthopedic robot for knee replacements. It's cool to see all of the new technology in healthcare being used right here in Watertown.
If you weren’t the Admin Assistant what would you want to do/be?
After high school my dream was to become a teacher, I love children-I’ve been able to fulfill this by being a Sunday school teacher for many years.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
My biggest joys in life are my three kids and my two grandkiddos. I also enjoy baking and have made many birthday, anniversary and wedding cakes, cupcakes, etc for family and friends-its my niche. I also enjoy making cards (crafting). Also, catching up with friends for a glass of wine! I am very involved in our church (Immanuel Lutheran Church of Lebanon), I have been the Council secretary for many years.
What is your favorite local gem in the Watertown area? (Example: Restaurant, park, activity)
I enjoy taking the grandkids to our beautiful library and many parks. I also like to walk and bike-I enjoy riding thru different subdivisions/trails.