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Elaine Strohm: Reflecting on ten years in administration at Nova Scotia Health

Elaine Strohm

Elaine Strohm's decade-long tenure at Nova Scotia Health is a testament to her dedication and a showcase of the vital role administrative professionals play in the healthcare sector. As an Executive Assistant (EA) to the Executive Directors in the Western Zone, supporting Zone Operations, Strohm's journey reflects a deep passion for supporting organizational success and fostering professional development. 

"I was attracted to administrative work because of the diverse opportunities available," Strohm recalls. A curiosity about the breadth and depth of roles within administration drove her initial foray into the field. Over the years, she has seen the indispensable nature of administrative professionals across all industries and sectors. She notes, "It is impossible to imagine any industry thriving or even surviving without administrative professionals." 

One pivotal aspect of Elaine's career trajectory was her membership in the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Motivated by career advancement opportunities within Nova Scotia Health, she joined IAAP to enhance her skills and professional network. Reflecting on this decision, Elaine says, "I credit my IAAP membership for contributing to my ability to advance my career to the EA level." 

Through IAAP, Elaine delved into a world of professional development opportunities. "The IAAP professional development opportunities cover a vast range of subjects," she explains. Her journey included obtaining the IAAP Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) designation, attending annual Summit conferences, completing specialized courses like the Business Writing specialty course, and actively participating in IAAP volunteer leadership opportunities. 

These experiences broadened Elaine's skillset and enriched her professional network. "I also formed relationships with many fellow admins during these experiences, allowing me to be an active part of a robust, supportive community," she says. Elaine's involvement in IAAP leadership roles, such as serving as the IAAP Maritime Branch Director and being elected as a Board Director for the IAAP Foundation, further highlights her commitment to professional growth and community engagement. 

In her current role as an EA, Elaine believes that administrative professionals are crucial in driving organizational success. "When I support our team to be efficient and organized, I can alleviate the workload from my leaders," she notes. Elaine's proactive approach extends beyond her immediate responsibilities; she leads an admin community of practice, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among administrative assistants within Nova Scotia Health. 

For newcomers considering a career in administration, Elaine's advice is clear: "Go for it and get involved in a professional organization!" Her journey, which began over two decades ago, underscores the transformative power of professional development and networking in the administrative field. Announced on Administrative Professionals Day, April 24, Nova Scotia Health is now offering a free annual membership to any administrative team member interested in joining the IAAP. We have had more than 450 administrators sign up since the announcement!

Strohm's story exemplifies a dedication to continuous learning, community engagement, and driving positive change within the administrative realm. Her story inspires aspiring administrative professionals by showcasing the boundless opportunities and contributions this field offers in shaping organizational excellence and the opportunities Nova Scotia Health can offer.

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