Thrive by IU Health

October 05, 2021

Team member finds purpose in the midst of a storm

Team member finds purpose in the midst of a storm

By IU Health Communications Associate, Aniqua Chatman

During the height of the pandemic, news outlets around the world shared the work and risk that frontline team members were taking each day to care for their patients. This message became a rallying cry for Heather Bola, unit support technician, to leave her former job and join the fight against COVID-19 at the IU Health adult academic health center.

Having spent her entire professional career working in business, Bola shares, “I wore many hats throughout the years, met some wonderful people, but I came to a point at my career where I was just not happy. I felt like something was missing. I wanted something more meaningful in my work life.” While working remotely, Bola found herself keeping track of the various updates of how the pandemic was affecting healthcare workers.

“I just couldn't believe what was happening around the world, and even in our own cities and town. I was shook! I couldn't imagine the courage and selflessness it took for these men and women, mothers, fathers, children, to take this on. The unknown of what was happening. I just couldn't sit by. I couldn't let this be my COVID story. I thought about future conversations, with friends or even grandchildren and I just couldn't say I sat back and watched how brave the healthcare workers were while I sat at home. I couldn't stomach that narrative.”

Bola enrolled in a PCA training class and began her job search. She eventually interviewed with her current clinical manager, Lori Garrard, who shared that she knew Bola’s unique story made her a great fit for the A7 South team. She says:

“Heather’s genuine desire to help others was evident from the beginning of our conversation. She was very careful in her evaluation of the role, how she would fit on our team, and would take this risk only if she were sure she could make a positive impact. Her purposeful questions really showed me that she was calculating the risk of changing careers and jumping into healthcare, a field she wasn’t familiar with at all. I assured her that we would teach her what she needed to know because it was clear she had the most important quality – a desire to care for people in some of the worst situations of their lives. She wanted to help and bring hope to people. She had a servant’s heart filled with the desire to help and not be a bystander in the pandemic. This spoke “leader” to me and this is a quality I look for in applicants as we try to build the team on 7S. I knew Heather would be an outstanding addition to our young team and she would be a leader that would inspire others.”

Since joining her team, Bola has won the AAHC Partner in Care Award and has continued to serve with a smile on her face.