Employee of the Month – Natalie Venancio

July 2018, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Natalie Venancio, administrative associate to the division manager for pulmonary and critical care medicine, is what her colleagues describe as a “mood elevator.”  As the front desk face for her division, she brightens the whole place.

Everyone’s go-to

Clearly, Natalie is a born multitasker.  Her days are busy and varied.  As she describes, “I manage the division manager's calendar, and perform various administrative and financial duties such as PCard verifications,  expense requests and invoicing.  I am also the iSpace and Emergency Plan coordinator for the division.”  Her days are busy due to her “various duties in addition to dealing with any issues that should arise.”

Anahita Asefirad has nothing but praise for Natalie’s work ethic and kindness to her colleagues.  “Natalie helps out fellow coworkers in anything we ask of her in addition to the workload she already has,” Anahit says.  “She’s my go-to whenever I have questions because she is knowledgeable and patient.”

Chitra Dinakar, MD, clinical professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, adds, “The first sight that greets you as you walk to Natalie's desk is her welcoming eyes, sweet smile,  and her warm genuine words enquiring about your wellness and how she can help you.”  But that’s not all—she’s also incredibly resourceful.  “Natalie considers every request, no matter how far-fetched from the norm, as an opportunity for problem solving,” Chitra continues. “If she is unable to help you right away, she promises to get back to you.”  And she does.  Chitra cites Natalie’s help with her family’s move to Stanford in 2017, calling her a “blessing.”

A trusted team member

Danielle Hendrickson echoes her co-worker’s views, but adds another important word: trust.  “Natalie is trusted with a lot of confidential information, and never speaks about her knowledge to anyone when asked to do so,” Danielle explains. “I have heard her say to someone, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t give you that information or comment on it for privacy reasons.’ ‘Please ask the person directly or go to my supervisor.’ When you are trusted with something confidential, you’d want Natalie as your confidant.”

This trustworthiness extends to everyone: people on her team, people outside her team, and even people who aren’t meant to be in her office.  “When a patient came into the office by mistake, she didn’t just send them away to the front of the hospital,” Danielle says.  “She took the time to look up the physician’s location and personally escort the patient to their appointment to curb their anxiety.”

Stanford is lucky to have Natalie, her coworkers conclude.  She’s a leader, taking on a more supervisory role without being asked, and a team player, always willing to pitch in with a great attitude and a smile.  “Dependability is her middle name,” Danielle states.

Natalie’s been with Stanford for four and a half years (by her very precise estimate), and came from a background of “various positions in a customer support environment,” in addition to some time in payroll and as an independent contractor for medical transcription.  She was “surprised and honored” by the award, which she calls a “well-kept secret.”  For her part, she really likes the people she works with and “the diversity that Stanford has to offer.”

In her free time, she likes reading, camping, and fishing with her family.