Kathy Vanderslice: A One-Woman Show
It’s no surprise that a clinic with more than a hundred medical and support service departments would require it’s own in-house Print Center to produce the thousands of printed materials that are distributed near and far on a daily basis. The surprise, however, may be in the fact that Hattiesburg Clinic’s Print Center is, essentially, a one-person department.
Kathy Vanderslice has worked at Hattiesburg Clinic for 16 years. She started out in the clinic’s laundry department, which was located in Petal at the time. She was later transferred to the main clinic in Hattiesburg, where she became the assistant manager for the Patient Representatives department. She managed the Patient Reps for nearly a decade before she was transferred to the Mail Room, where she worked sorting and delivering mail for two years.
In 2014, Vanderslice’s thoroughness and hard work ethic caught the attention of an administrator who was looking to fill a position in the clinic’s Print Center, located off campus. Since then, she has worked to learn the ins and outs of the printing world as the department’s sole staff member.
“I really did not know that much about printing when I first started. I have gone to training classes. So it’s kind of been hands-on learning. I’ve learned a lot kind of by trial and error,” says the 51-year-old.
So what does a printing coordinator do?
“I print…documents for all of the main clinic and all the satellites. Envelopes, fliers…I print training material and training education books. I don’t create the documents. Most of the time the managers already have what they want on paper and [I] format it.”
Vanderslice says she doesn’t mind being the only one on staff at the Print Center. She says she enjoys the work and interacting with colleagues from different departments each day. Even when something goes awry with a print job, Vanderslice says people are usually very understanding and appreciative.
Nevertheless, quality is important to her and she doesn’t make a habit of allowing errors in her work. She also doesn’t like leaving anything incomplete at the end of her workday.
“I cannot leave at the end of the day unless all of my orders are done. I just cannot leave it incomplete. It’s kind of an OCD thing.”
Q: What was the most unusual/most interesting job you had before starting with the clinic?
A: There was a Tasty Donut in Petal where the Walgreen’s is now… I got held up at gunpoint. We were open all night. This was probably in ’87, ’88. That was probably the worst, strangest thing that ever happened. He was caught immediately because a policeman came into the donut shop. He was caught right there. He didn’t even get to leave. That tells you right there you should never rob a donut place.
Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?
A: I’m a big fan of the royal family. Anything that comes up [about them], I love to read it and watch it.
Q: What’s your “undercover dream?”
A: When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. I had a chalkboard and I had the dolls.
Q: How would you describe Hattiesburg Clinic?
A: Hattiesburg Clinic is one big family. The clinic has been very good to me. They’ve helped out so many times when I didn’t know where else to turn…We all take care of each other.