5 minutes with Lanika Wright ’14

Occupation: Director of ECU Student Health Services

Degrees: Bachelor of nursing, East Tennessee State University, master and doctor of nursing, ECU

Hometown: Marion, Va.

“Our new motto is all COVID all the TIME. Every person in our building is working hard. This time has impacted our work family and allowed us to grow closer and stronger. I’ve watched many of my coworkers come into their own and blossom in their roles.

“Prior to COVID, SHS had not been involved in telehealth. With the sudden switch to online learning in the fall, SHS began incorporating telehealth as an option for care. (Another change is) drive-through testing. The service not only decreases the amount of time patients spend inside clinic but is also is very convenient for our students.

“The experiences that have impacted me most have been my patient experiences. In the moments I’m most frustrated or overwhelmed, it is remembering those experiences that center me and help me remember my why. Those experiences are the ones that truly influence me as a provider and as a leader.

“Since being at ECU I’ve learned it matters who you work with, (so) surround yourself with amazing people; doing the right thing is not always the most popular thing, even in circles where you think it should be – do it anyway; people genuinely do not care what you know until they know you care; your life committee should be full of different types of people – it opens your eyes to many different, beautiful worlds.

My favorite quote right now is, ‘Life is tough, darling, but so are you!’