This week’s Healthcare Hero is all about her patients – giving nearly 50 years of her own life to make sure people can get back to their lives. Occupational therapist, Jeanette Messerlian, loves her patients and it’s infectious.
Veronica Rodriguez is one of Jeannette’s colleagues at Community Regional Medical Center. Veronica stated, “She got nominated because she deserves it. She has helped a lot of us, not only as colleagues, caregivers, family members and just really strangers too. She’s so humble, I want to give her credit, I want people to know how much of a difference she’s made in everyone’s lives. I think it’s been a long time coming. She has been such a good mentor to everyone here. I still remember walking through the doors of our office and meeting Jeanette for the first time and just really felt like it was a good place for me to work in. Just because of being around her.”
Jeanette has worked at Community Regional for more than half of her life, as she turns 72 this year.
“Well, one thing I can say, it’s been such a privilege to find a career that I could love for this long. Working with the patients, I just love them. And it seems like this particular setting lets you walk right into their life because you need to know what life was like before trauma so you can help them get back to that life. So, it’s really an amazing job that way,” said Jeannette.
But, she didn’t think being an occupational therapist was her dream job at first.
Jeannette continued, “Well, when I first took this job, I thought maybe I’d be here a year because I thought perhaps the Bay Area or another place would be the place I’d find what I was looking for more and because I do love travel, I do love a lot of different experiences, but what I found was all the things I had in my mind that I would do if I was some place else. I did here and actually better. When I look back, I think, ‘Oh my goodness, I really thought some other place offered more’, but what I learned, it’s really an internal life. And that’s the one that you find fulfillment in.”