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Week of March 22, 2010

Medical assistant sees the light

Seven years ago, Kimberly Green became fascinated with lighthouses.

“Each and every one of them has a history of their own,” she says. “I love reading about them and watching history stories on them.”

Photo by Scott Soderberg, U-M Photo Services.

Green, a medical assistant specialist at the U-M Health System, has seen lighthouses in multiple states. A native to Michigan, she has been to Indiana, Ohio and Florida. “When I went to Florida, I traveled with my foster mother,” she remembers. “We went to Ponce Inlet and climbed 194 steps up (inside the Ponce de Leon lighthouse). The views you can see from lighthouses are breathtaking.”

When Green isn’t searching for amazing sights, she keeps busy at UMHS. One of four medical assistants at the Occupational Health Services (OHS) clinic, she “shares responsibility for all patient care activities,” including administering vaccinations and providing wound care.

When her daily medical assisting tasks don’t keep her busy enough, she assists with the volumes of data entry or helping management with special projects.

“The best part of my job,” she says, “is working with the patients.”

Green explains that she has always been interested in patient care and helping people, and currently is studying to receive a nursing degree at Washtenaw Community College. Her job at U-M, she believes, helps supplement her formal education. “I enjoy working here,” she says. “Meeting all of the employees of UMHS, the U-M campus and the U-M Medical School.”

In an effort to apply her education toward a good cause, Green also spends time volunteering for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Though she keeps busy with work, volunteering and travel, Green says her first priority is her family. “I have two boys, a daughter-in-law and a 2-year-old granddaughter,” she says. “I enjoy just being with my family, attending my youngest son’s sporting events and (having) my granddaughter for sleepovers.”

Green is devoted to all of the interests and loves in her life. Perhaps that is why she loves lighthouses — because they, too, act as guiding lights. “Lighthouses were always there to help people in a time of darkness,” she says. “My future plans are to complete my nursing degree and continue my employment at the U of M.

“When I finish my degree I would like to take my family on a cruise.”

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Kimberly Green, medical assistant specialist, U-M Health System, on what she loves about lighthouses: “(They) were always there to help people in a time of darkness.”