When asked to identify someone who has inspired and guided her personally and professionally, Erica Gudakunst doesn’t have to look far.
Erica (pictured above, left), a project manager for the physicians group in our Lima market, ensures that a lot of logistical processes and issues are performed. Many of these responsibilities are behind the scenes but have an effect on the experience and care that a patient receives. This requires hard work, innovation and coordination – qualities she learned from her mom.
Erica’s mom, Amy Edwards (pictured above, right), is a physical therapist in pelvic health who also works for our ministry. Her compassion toward her patients and positive attitude has influenced how Erica views her role within our ministry and in her own life.
“My mom is able to find a positive out of everything, no matter how hopeless the situation may appear,” she says. “This has inspired me to always look for the good in people and situations.”
And it’s not just her outlook that encourages Erica. The compassion and dignity Amy shows is clearly evident in the effect she has on the outcomes of her patients, as evidenced by a story Erica still recalls.
“I was out shopping with my mom one day and a random lady walked up and started talking with her. I remember the lady telling me that my mom was a hero and has totally transformed her life,” Erica says. “That was very powerful to me to know that the work my mom does every day is extremely impactful. That has helped to drive and inspire me to ensure that I, too, am making a positive difference in people’s lives.”
Erica adds that her mom is a “true believer” that everyone has a story, and it’s often difficult to understand what a person has gone through or is currently dealing with – a perspective that motivates her to treat others with the values that Mercy Health prizes, such as human dignity, compassion, integrity and service.
And it’s those values that have made a lasting impression on Erica, leading to her feelings of another emotion – gratitude.
“Thank you for helping build me into the person that I am today.”
Read more stories celebrating our team members during Women’s History Month.
Also, learn more about the health care services we offer at Mercy Health.