From Julie DuBois, Cardiovascular Coordinator, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital
When Julie DuBois wanted to improve her health, she knew she had to carve time into her full schedule. There are never enough hours in the day to serve the kids and families in her care, let alone take care of herself.
“I’m so busy I have to incorporate healthy habits into my daily life or they don’t get done,” she says. “I work a lot, and then I want to spend my free time with my husband and daughter. So I do a lot of small things every day that add up.”
Here’s what she does: “I always take the stairs, I walk everywhere, and I have an exercise ball in my office. I do most activities St. Luke’s offers through our Healthy U program, including Weight Watchers at Work. I write down all the things I eat, and pay attention to what I eat.”
The result? An impressive 40-pound weight loss! And best of all, she feels great.
And even though the small things add up, Julie likes the big things, too. She’s one of those people you see plunging into the icy water on New Year’s Day for the Polar Bear Challenge. She’s taken the plunge for the past five years to support the Make-a-Wish Foundation—an organization that touches the kids who are dear to her heart.
More than a job
As the cardiovascular coordinator at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, Julie is dedicated to serving the needs of children with serious heart conditions and their families. The practical aspects of her job include preparing children for medical procedures, helping parents understand their child’s condition and treatment, speaking at schools to explain a young patient’s situation to their classmates, and connecting parents to support each other and share their knowledge and experiences.
She also coordinates the logistics for families who must travel with seriously ill children to Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake, Denver, Stanford, or Las Vegas for heart surgery. “Travel takes a huge toll on families,” she says. “My job is to help ease the stress, the fear, and the cost as much as possible.”
The emotional side of her job is as important as the practical, she says. “These are often heart-wrenching situations, and I’m committed to going through every struggle with them.”
You can help children with serious heart conditions by giving a gift to our Patient Assistance Fund through St. Luke’s Health Foundation. This fund, made up entirely of charitable donations, helps families meet their basic daily needs in the midst of a medical crisis. This assistance may include meal vouchers, gas cards, temporary housing, and medications.