For Ruthie McCowin, of Gary, maintaining her focus has been the key to her success.
"Do not allow anyone to tell you what you cannot accomplish," she said. "Various obstacles will happen in your life that will convince you to quit. Quitting is not an option. You must put your faith and trust in God. Make sure you have a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely."
McCowin, who will be 60 on July 23, has learned how to achieve her goals by "working smarter" and remaining focused.
McCowin is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University in Merrillville where she received a Bachelor of Science in business administration in May 2010. She completed the Master of Science in management May 8 with a specialization in health care management and will receive her degree Aug. 11 at Indiana Wesleyan's main campus in Marion.
But along the way, McCowin has earned a variety of certificates and worked in various jobs, including the Lake County Convalescent Home in Crown Point, the Lake County Sheriff's Department and Sears.
McCowin currently works as an administrative assistant for both Northlake and Southlake Methodist Hospitals emergency departments, performing administrative duties.
McCowin, who has been diagnosed with peripheral artery disease, suffered a stroke in April 2011.
McCowin has persevered through losing her natural father in 1986 after he suffered a severe stroke. She later became the caregiver for her mother and stepfather but also lost both of them, her stepfather in 2006 and her mother a year later.
"When I lost my mother, it seemed like the end of the world and I wanted to quit college because I did not see a reason to finish," she said.
But McCowin found her support through her husband of more than 34 years, Richard, her son and daughter, friends and other family members. "They would not allow me to quit," she said.
McCowin's supervisors at Methodist call her a tremendous asset to the team.
Gena DeMuth, interim manager of the Northlake Campus emergency services, said as a result of McGowin's degree, she has gained knowledge of the latest health care management practices.
"Her fresh perspective is an asset, especially when we are constantly working with outside companies to bring the most up-to-date, evidence-based practice to our patients in the emergency room," DeMuth said.
Cindy Mirabella, manager of the Southlake Campus emergency department, said over the past year she has had the honor and privilege of watching McCowin's skills bloom. She said McCowin's dedication and commitment to excellent customer service, her clear and concise communication skills and her ability to connect with the people around her and hear what they are saying are invaluable skills.
Courtesy of The Times.