"My work is interesting, it’s vibrant, and because I’m at Weill Cornell Medicine, it’s cutting-edge.”
Like so many New Yorkers, Kristen moved to the city to pursue a career in the arts. She never considered working in healthcare, but when a friend told her about a billing office job at Weill Cornell, she discovered that her undergraduate studies in computer programming were incredibly valuable. The healthcare industry was in the midst of the transition to computer-based billing and reporting, and her knowledge of SQL allowed her to pull and analyze data to support her department’s financial and research needs.
Today, Kristen is the Department Administrator of Anesthesiology and oversees their financial and business operations, including budgeting, staffing, vendor management, and space allocation and design. “People ask me, ‘How could you work at the same place for 26 years?’ The best part about my role is that there is no such thing as a typical day. My work is interesting, it’s vibrant, and because I’m at Weill Cornell Medicine, it’s cutting-edge.”
Outside of her duties as a Department Administrator, Kristen brought her passion for green living to campus by creating Weill Cornell’s sustainability initiative. The program promotes more responsible use of resources, energy, and materials by employees and students at work and at home. “The ability to step up and do something like that is what’s so great about Weill Cornell. The organization is willing to look at people’s talents and interests and leverage them in a way that’s really rewarding.”
Kristen credits her first administrator for giving her challenges and opportunities that shaped the trajectory of her career. “This environment is very helpful and growing. The administrator that I first worked with—and many of the administrators at the time—was very encouraging, even though my main interest was theatre.” Now, Kristen works to support her staff in the same way. “One of the best parts of my job is teaching and coaching. Just as my administrator saw potential in me, to recognize the potential among the members of our own team and help them discover what they could do next is so exciting.”
What would Kristen tell someone who is considering a career at Weill Cornell Medicine? “Weill Cornell is a fantastic place to work because it’s an environment that encourages you to be a lifelong learner. The job you’re doing today is not the job you’ll be doing a year from now—even if you’re in the same role—because you’re going to face new challenges. You’re going to be expected to meet those challenges, but as you do, your colleagues will be there to support you.”