Overlake Women in Medicine Share Their Insights for Women’s History Month

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This Women's History Month, we proudly celebrate our female providers, physicians and support staff who positively impact our patients and community—this month and every month. Inspiring the next generation of women in healthcare, some of Overlake's own medical trailblazers share their inspirations, advice and greatest accomplishments.

Female Overlake employees

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

  • "Women’s History Month gives us the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of women throughout history. It’s such an important month to reflect on female trailblazers in all fields and empower women to chase their dreams." – Asra Mazhar, DO
  • "Women in history have often been minimized, overshadowed or erased completely. Women’s History Month shines a spotlight on their contributions and achievements. It reminds us that women have played a massive role throughout history." – Christy Chan, MD

What is the biggest challenge facing women in your field today?

  • "The biggest challenge is being heard, from the operating room to the board room." – Eileen Consorti, MD, MS
  • "Organizations can support women by treating them as equals in appreciation and in opportunity. Often times we are mothers, caregivers, leaders and healthcare workers, and balancing all of that, well, is not easy." – Lauren Belleza, Manager, Overlake Clinics Health Information Management & Credentialing
  • "As a female physician in medicine, one of the biggest challenges I see is creating and cultivating an environment where women are empowered and respected amongst their colleagues. Workplace equality is critical to the success of women in any field and something I believe we should always strive for." – Asra Mazhar, DO
  • "Balancing life and work. Working in medicine requires devoting so much of yourself—your time, your passion, your struggles—that it can be difficult to also make time for family." – Christy Chan, MD

What led you to pursue a career in healthcare?

  • "I have two sisters with severe cerebral palsy. My family’s experience navigating the medical system for help with their inscrutable condition was harrowing. I wanted to learn all I could to help make it less mysterious and frightening for others.” – Christy Chan, MD
  • "The field of medicine captivated my heart and mind ever since I learned what role doctors have in the lives of their patients. The knowledge, skills and compassion required to become a physician lured me into this career as a means of serving my community in the most noble way—helping people achieve better health through knowledge of the human body." – Asra Mazhar, DO
  • "Caring for my Dad when he got sick with cancer." – Sara Whitner, Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • "The adversity we face as women from many avenues, both politically and socially, is vast. As a woman leader in healthcare, I chose this path initially to help others as a baseline. It has turned into a way to motivate and build other leaders, especially women leaders, in a field where compassion and patient care must be balanced with organizational goals." – Lauren Belleza, Manager, Overlake Clinics Health Information Management & Credentialing

What woman inspires you and why?

  • "My resilient mother. She grew up in poverty and fought for an education when most women could not. She immigrated to the United States and became a successful business owner, while taking care of a multi-generational family and four daughters—two of which were severely disabled." – Christy Chan, MD
  • "I would have to say Clara Barton, who founded the Red Cross at the age of 60 and ran it for the next 23 years. What a pioneer she was! Her dedication to the soldiers was awe-inspiring." – Tina Hall, Coder II
  • "My mother inspired me. She was a critical care nurse, raising five children and taking courses at night for a master's in health administration. She stressed to all her children the importance of a college education." – Eileen Consorti, MD, MS
  • "Florence Nightingale—Her nighttime rounds to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War in the 1850s. Her work as a nurse transformed the standard for hospital and care facilities forever. During her time at the military hospital, Nightingale improved sanitary conditions so drastically, that mortality rates decreased from 40 percent to just 2 percent. After returning home, she continued her efforts and sparked new standards and safe nursing practices that would carry on forever." – Christina Sisco, Patient Services Representative

What advice would you give to other women in your profession?

  • "The glass ceiling was made to be shattered. You are capable of moving mountains. Fight for your passions and chase your dreams. As long as you have that fire and drive for the things you love, you will be successful!" – Asra Mazhar, DO
  • "Live life as fully as possible. This is not a dress rehearsal. Do not be afraid to ask for what you need to develop in your career and life." – Eileen Consorti, MD, MS
  • "You don't have to change who you are to be successful. Keep reaching for your next goal. No matter the circumstances, we must always do what's right. Use your power to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Persevere." – Ayesha, PMP
  • "Don't ever be afraid to stand up or stand out. Don't ever be afraid to speak up or speak out. Live and love in your uniqueness."  – Christina Sisco, Patient Services Representative

What is an accomplishment you are proud of?

  • "Achieving a childhood dream to become a physician and having a supportive family and children to share it with." – Christy Chan, MD
  • "I feel incredibly fortunate to create meaningful relationships with my patients on a daily basis as their family medicine physician. Guiding and supporting my patients to better health and seeing their improvements is such a huge accomplishment that keeps me going every day." – Asra Mazhar, DO
  • "My sons. I love them so much. There is an unwritten rule between us that every conversation ends with "I love you" being said." – Eileen Consorti, MD, MS
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