In recognition of Women’s History Month, we wanted to highlight some of our colleagues and the work that they do. Today, we meet Elena Lupo, Division Director, Suburban Ambulatory Division. Elena studied psychology at West Chester University and has been with Gaudenzia for about 15 years.
What is it like to be a woman working in this industry?
Working women within this field are the norm. While in the Eastern Region division director’s meeting this week, we enjoyed welcoming a new team member, who happens to be the one and only male. I found myself curious to know if that was his first time walking into a management meeting being the only male on the team. My next thought was if the opposite had occurred, would the men have been as warm and welcoming to the new member as we were to him? I believe this industry welcomes women with open arms, and in turn, we welcome all just as warmly.
What is an accomplishment you are most proud of while working at Gaudenzia?
I am proud of my team and everything they do daily. I have been around for some time and have witnessed my team transition from paper charts to AVATAR and in-person services to telehealth. We have dealt with staff leaving, new staff training and staff members with different technological abilities. When COVID-19 presented itself, we received the first calls about Pennsylvania shutting down. Within a week or two, the programs I oversaw, with assistance, had telehealth services up and running. The pandemic has not stopped our team from providing services every day. My management team steps up, and they are my proudest accomplishment.
What inspires your motivation for work?
I came into this field as a “green” 21-year-old. In my final semester at West Chester, I walked through the sliding doors at SCI-Chester, a correctional institution specializing in treating male offenders with alcohol or substance abuse problems. That was over 17 years ago, and I still feel like I learned more from the inmates than they learned from me. Some of my most profound memories about work are conversations I had with those that will never walk out of those gates. That keeps me motivated to continue helping people make better decisions.