Wendy Gaudet, 38
Director of Pharmacy, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
- Playing a lead operations role in the LSU-OLOL cooperative endeavor agreement.
- Building a pharmacy fully compliant to the upcoming federal requirements for handling hazardous drugs.
- Participating in a statewide work group with the Louisiana Hospital Association, focusing on the use of medical marijuana in Louisiana.
The BRAC Leadership Program graduate volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul cafeteria while serving as an assistant coach through YMCA.
NAME ONE BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU PROFESSIONALLY:
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
Michael Jackson, of course! I’m still working on those dance moves!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB, HOW OLD WERE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
I had my first job being a party hostess at Chuck E. Cheese’s when I was 15. I learned that kids can get really sick after eating a lot and then playing hard! This has been good to know as a mom of four!
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
Dressing up as Chuck E. Cheese when we had a no show one day…let me say—never again!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH IN BATON ROUGE, AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DISH THERE?
Lunch for me is usually on the go, or inhaled at my desk while working. Occasionally we have much needed collegial Friday afternoon sessions at Tallulah’s and the $1 beer cheese chips are a must!
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Being an operational lead for all things pharmacy entering in to the cooperative endeavor agreement between Louisiana and Our Lady of the Lake in 2013. In my professional career, these were the wildest and scariest three months I’ve ever experienced. I had just started working at OLOL and this was my first assignment. It taught me a lot about who I was, my limits and how far I could stretch. The impossible happened in those three months and I’m so proud to have been a part of it!
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST FULFILLING MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
Being presented the Mother Gertrude Hennessy Leadership award at OLOL in 2017. It was a very humbling experience that I still haven’t fully digested, considering I work among so many great and talented leaders. Still to this day, I remember hearing Mr. Wester call my name and I literally couldn’t feel my knees to stand. I never expected to receive this award and never have I felt so indebted and such gratitude to be among such high caliber folks in one room at the same time. Definitely a top ten moment of my life.
WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL “AHA” MOMENT?
I had to work during what I had planned to be a family LSU Game Day celebration. I was in a terrible mood when I left work to resume my errands for the day, and I believe a divine intervention occurred to remind me just why I needed to be where I was earlier that morning. I didn’t know her at the time, but a woman who took care of me on one of my many stops was a patient of ours. While we were talking over my purchase of a refrigerator, we ended up talking on a personal level and she told me about her then current battle with breast cancer and that she was being treated in one of the infusion centers where I work. She had no clue who I was, but our conversation brought me to my knees emotionally. Ultimately, our conversation made me realize the reason I do what I do doesn’t stay in the confines of walls of the hospital, but that it’s embedded in me everywhere I go. I’ll be forever thankful for our encounter and her being my reminder of the passion that started it all for me so long ago.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THE HARD WAY?
There’s always something (or multiple things) I fail at every day—my friends, my job, being a good mom to four wonderful children or a good wife to an amazing husband. I’m never okay with failing, in fact I have an insane fear of it, but the beauty of failing is learning. It took me a while to come around to being okay with this in all I do.
WHAT GIVES YOU PROFESSIONAL INSPIRATION?
My teams. I watch them every day on the front lines do what they do best in caring for our patients. Their amazing work ethic and dedication to our patients makes me want to be better than who I was yesterday for them so they can do their job easier and better.
WHAT IS THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN FROM A COLLEAGUE OR BOSS?
“You’re an amazing mom!” Sounds strange to put here but this one matters to me the most. It was a conversation with a colleague about work-life balance and being there for my kids. She told me it doesn’t matter how good or bad you do your job, at some point everyone here will forget it either way, but your kids, they will remember all you do for them and that’s what matters more. I’ll never forget our conversation and her compliment.
ARE YOU ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA? IF SO, ON WHICH PLATFORMS ARE YOU MOST ACTIVE?
Honestly, only when I have to be. Instagram is really the only social media I’ll make time for!
HOW MANY TEXTS DO YOU SEND ON AN AVERAGE DAY? HOW MANY EMAILS?
Texts can easily exceed 100 some days given what’s happening at work. Emails, I don’t even want to count these!
HOW LOW WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR REMAINING PHONE OR COMPUTER BATTERY LIFE GET (IN %) BEFORE YOU HAVE AN ANXIETY ATTACK?
The other day my phone went to 1% remaining…that was, uh… slightly stressful.
HOW MANY UNREAD MESSAGES ARE IN YOUR INBOX RIGHT NOW?
178 and I just cleared it about two hours ago!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE APP AT THE MOMENT?
Waze. I’m usually running late to get to meetings around town due to other meetings running over. Waze has saved me multiple times from being “That Guy” that always shows up late!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT OF THE PAST DECADE?
Alexa and I are BFFs most days. She helps me think and wakes up my kids in the morning. She’s great! And she knows hilarious jokes. “What happens if you cover a tennis racket in ice cream?” Ha! Love that girl.
WHAT TECHNOLOGY DO YOU WISH WAS NEVER INVENTED?
I’m not the biggest fan of social media because of what it teaches my kids and the perceptions it can create of reality.
WHAT TIME DO YOU GET UP ON WORKDAY MORNINGS?
Usually 5:15 a.m.
BREAKFAST AT HOME? BREAKFAST ON THE GO? BREAKFAST AT YOUR DESK? NO BREAKFAST AT ALL?
Breakfast is a must for me. It’s usually prepped before I leave and eaten on the way to work.
THE SAYING GOES: “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” SPECIFICALLY, WHAT ARE YOU “BEING” TO MAKE BATON ROUGE BETTER?
Being committed when no one else is watching. My principles don’t change based on who’s present. For example, if there’s trash on the ground, I see it, I pick it up and throw it away. I don’t wait for someone else to do what needs to be done, I just do it because I’m able to and because it’s the right thing to do.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE “GROWN UP?”
Aside from all the bills in my name? Being scheduled for work on holidays and not having summers off anymore was tough to swallow.
WHAT WAS THE BEST VACATION YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN?
Disney with my husband and kids. The fact that we were in Disney was a big part of why it was the best, but really it was because my husband and I completely unplugged from everything but the six of us present. In fact, I think his out of office read he was spending time with his family and wouldn’t be able to respond. Selfishly, it meant the world to me that we could do that for each other and our kids. It was an amazing time!
FAVORITE GIFT YOU WERE GIVEN AS A CHILD?
My cat, Coconut (he was all white of course). My parents surprised me with him when I was five and he lived until I was almost 23. Best. Cat. Ever!
WHICH TALENT OR SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
Does having a magic wand count as an answer here? I’ll take everything I’ve learned from Harry Potter and use my wand for fixing, cleaning and an occasional expecto patronum defense charm to ward off the worst days ever.
WHAT’S A NICKNAME YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE FOR YOU?
During childhood, Wendy Woo; at work, Wendy Angel.
WHAT ARE YOU SUPERSTITIOUS ABOUT?
Nothing really, but I do find myself walking over the cracks on sidewalks for whatever reason.
WHO FASCINATES YOU?
I’m always fascinated by successful women who can still make their way to carpool lines on time. I think THAT is a super power. I want to learn from them how they balance everything while finding their way to success (and manage to simply keep it together).
WHICH FICTIONAL CHARACTER DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Harry Potter, not so much because I save the day (because I don’t), but there’s a line he says to his friends. “I don’t go looking for trouble, it usually finds me.” I feel like I’m constantly, although never intentionally, finding myself in peculiar situations that become intense really quickly. It’d be super cool if that magic wand situation would work out as noted above.
Water and coffee are my liquids of choice.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
Harry Potter (all of them!)
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Love yourself before anyone else. You’re deserving of it, so fight for it!
We recently decided we needed more chaos in our house and adopted a rescue dog. He’s amazing by the way. Thanks FOTA! We named him Albus Dumbledog … obviously.
TELL US ABOUT A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE.
Meeting my husband for the first time (my entire world flipped on its axis in that moment) and the moment I became a mom and my husband laid our newborn son on my chest for the first time. Life affirming moment!
WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG PERSONAL OR CAREER CHALLENGE YOU PLAN TO TAKE ON?
In my profession and my job you never know what’s going to pop up next. I’ve not had one year in the last six years, that I can claim a sense of normalcy has happened and I’m so thankful for it!
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR FUTURE FORTY UNDER 40 HONOREES?
Consider being told “no” is a mere obstacle and keep hustling for your dreams and life goals!
DO YOU PLAN TO BE IN THE CAPITAL REGION FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Absolutely! We love Baton Rouge and all the opportunities here. We’ve got a great community and it’s only going to get better.