Photo of Susan HarmanQ: What is your role at Petra? Describe what you do day-to-day.
A: Day-to-day I am the Director of Medical Equipment Planning for Petra. For a tactical example of what I do: if we’re working on a medical office building, I take the building blueprints and plan the equipment that goes into each space – this also includes nursing stations and other support stations. I work on everything from new facilities to smaller-scale renovations.

Q: How long have you been with Petra and why did you choose this profession?
A: I became an Equipment Planner almost by accident. I was working at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena as they were in the process of expanding their ED from 12 beds to 50 and I was playing 2 roles: managing supply chain in distribution of medical supplies and also managing a project management team as it related to construction. We didn’t have anyone to do the medical equipment planning, so I simply started to do it. I knew the equipment and the space, and so I developed a list of needs working closely with the clinicians. I planned it and then followed it through to delivery and installation.

Then, in 2014, I got a call from a colleague, who mentioned Petra was looking for an Equipment Planner. I loved the team when I interviewed and was very excited to be able to craft the role into something bigger. I have been with them ever since!

Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: For me, going out and meeting with the clinicians we ultimately serve is the best part of the job. I know a lot of them personally and I like to meet with them because I always learn so much from them. The industry is quickly changing and it’s great to learn new processes and innovations from those who do the job every day.

Q: What has been your proudest moment working at Petra or in your career?
A: Two projects stand out to me for similar reasons.

The first was finishing the Covenant Outpatient Cancer Center, in Lubbock and the second was the completion of Plainview Hospital in Plainview, Texas. These two projects required specialty equipment I had never really worked with, so it was quite a welcomed learning curve. Both projects required me to roll my sleeves up and really dig in to understand the in’s and out’s, technicalities and complexities of the equipment. It was rewarding to see both projects successfully completed.

Q: What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
A: Everything. I love my job. I love the people at Petra who are like family. I like that it’s a small company, so you get to interact with really great people every day. I also enjoy going out to the field – I’m probably in the field more than at my desk.

Q: What are 3 words to describe your team?
A: Supportive. Innovative. Confident.

Q: What is something that most people don’t know about you?
A: I really, really enjoy hiking, being outdoors and nature. I volunteer one Saturday a month for Save Our Beach which is an organization that helps to clean a different beach each month.

Additionally, I volunteer for a battered women’s organization called Working Wardrobes where we donate clothing, make-up and hair services so that women in shelters can get the tools to help them interview for a job. I help obtain clothes and volunteer for their big event each year which is always very successful.

Q: How do you define success?
A: Completing a project on-time and on-budget where the end-user is extremely happy. Success to me is not raising my hand and saying, “Look what I did,” but rather how my client will use that space and knowing I had a part of it. It’s very humbling.

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