Sara deLeon began as a Unit Secretary, Clerical Monitor Tech and Department Secretary for her first 19 years at Mission Hospital, which at the time was Memorial Mission Hospital. During that time, she got married and had three children that were all born at Mission, which she says each was a wonderful experience. During a difficult time in her life, she decided to leave Asheville and the Mission family, but after being away for some time, she missed her parents and found her way back to Asheville. “The mountains called me back home,” Sara said.
Upon her return, she interviewed with Mission Health and was rehired in 2004. Now, she’s been with Mission collectively for 33 years. These positions include being a Physician’s Office Assistant in Children’s Dental and Office Specialist for Senior Services. In 2014, she received the news that her department was closing. “Luckily, I was enrolled in the Student at Work program that helped me update my resume and prepare to interview,” Sara said.
After interviewing for a few positions, she accepted what she says is the most awesome job ever – the Administrative Assistant for Facility redesign, also known as the project team for the Mission Hospital North Tower.
The Mission Hospital North Tower is the replacement hospital for St. Joseph that is 12 stories and is 630,000 square feet. It has 220 private patient rooms and a 94-bed emergency department. “I think it’s beautiful, and I hope the staff, patients, families and visitors will love it,” said Sara.
As the Administrative Assistant to this project, Sara manages up to 12 calendars, helps the construction managers get access to the different areas for work, sets up the commitment requisitions for every piece of equipment, furniture, signage, IT purchases, sets up meetings that are mostly executive level where decisions are made, and too many other duties to list.
While some days are so packed and Sara sometimes wishes things would slow down, she emphasizes that the Mission Hospital North Tower project team is an incredible group of people who have given her the freedom to grow in her position. “They have taught me so much,” Sara said. “I feel I am prepared to face the end of this project.”
Sara shared that it has been the best work experience of her life, so far, and although she will be sad when it ends, she is looking forward to the next adventure now that the North Tower is open for care.
“I know every time I pass that new beautiful tower, I will be able to point to it and say, ‘I was a part of that.’”