Stephanie LaBarron was recently hired as the vice president of ambulatory and provider services at Copley Hospital in Morrisville. As a “young vice president,” Stephanie attributes her ability to climb the leadership ladder to her education, and says that her entire career in healthcare began at CCV.

Like many other teenagers, when Stephanie graduated from high school she wasn’t interested in going to college. But after a few months of living in the “real world” working and paying bills, she realized that “in order to do well in my professional life, I really needed to have some ongoing education.” She began looking into college classes, and started at Lyndon State College (now Northern Vermont University-Lyndon) but found it difficult to fit classes into her schedule. Stephanie then enrolled at CCV-Newport after her “curiosity for learning” pushed her to look into classes there.

She was able to take night classes and work during the day. “It really worked very well with my schedule…I could work locally and I could go to school locally.” She also “needed a smooth, easy transition [into college], something that would allow me to still have the comfort of being home and around my family and have some familiarity.” CCV-Newport allowed her to commute to a local campus and provided a supportive community with a physical space to work collaboratively with her classmates.

Stephanie was interested in the healthcare field when she started at CCV with thoughts of pursuing a career as a physical therapist. During this time Stephanie was also working at North Country Hospital in environmental services, and found that “as I continued to pick up extra classes and learn, North Country would promote me to different positions in the organization. They worked with me and would adjust my schedule based on when my classes were.”

Her path changed from pursuing a clinical role in healthcare to the business side as she was able to see and experience more roles at the hospital. She recognized that she couldn’t complete an entire physical therapy program at CCV, and that she liked other classes that were more business-focused. Stephanie wanted a starting place with her education that she could build off of in the future, and she felt that earning her associate degree at CCV would be the best first step.

Stephanie earned her associate degree in liberal arts at CCV and continued on to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business with a focus in healthcare administration, all while working at North Country. “[CCV] gave me a lot of foundational steps. I did a lot of prerequisites for my business degree there; it helped re-spark my interest in going to college and pursuing a graduate degree,” Stephanie said. “Making learning fun and making me want to do that was huge. Not only that, but you have to have a baseline skill set in order to continue on [with education], and CCV provided that for me.”

Stephanie says that the skills she learned at CCV, such as time management and working with others in a team environment, were also important to her professional career and can be applied to her work now. As the VP of ambulatory and provider services at Copley, Stephanie oversees outpatient medical practices, perioperative services, and provider relationships. Along with working full-time at Copley, Stephanie also teaches online for Southern New Hampshire University and runs Maple Hill Farm in Barton, Vermont with her partner. She believes that ”you can get to what it is you want to do in your career a little easier with ongoing education,” whether it be a degree, certificate, or just one class. “I think people having the opportunity to sign up for classes that fit their lifestyles and current needs is really important.”

Two months into her job at Copley, Stephanie is enjoying the new environment and challenges, and says that she hopes to work at the organization for many years to come. “I’m excited that I’m in an organization that sees potential and wants to work with people, because I’m not a finished product either.” Her advice for anyone looking to try something new in their lives is that “it’s okay to be uncomfortable. Sometimes new and different things can be scary, but that’s how we grow personally and professionally.”

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