People who meet Becky Brady, medical assistant in Akron Children’s Center for Allergy & Immunology, for the first time may not realize how good-humored she is. After all, the new patients she encounters often feel miserable by the time they come to the hospital for tests and treatment. For many of them, the last thing they expect is the jovial bantering and good-natured exchanges between Becky and Dr. Ravi Karnani, pediatric allergist and immunologist, whose patients she prepares for examination. The 2 display a special camaraderie, which helps put their patients and colleagues at ease.
After 17 years of working with Dr. Karnani, Becky plans to retire on Dec. 31. She looks forward to ticking items off her bucket list, which includes traveling with her husband, and enjoying whatever the future holds. She also expects to return to the hospital periodically since she and Dr. Karnani share an affinity for cookies and she knows she can count on him for a sweet tooth fix.
What brought you to Children’s?
I worked full-time in retail as a cosmetic salesperson, but wanted to enter the medical profession. I decided to get an associate’s degree as a medical assistant. When I graduated, I saw a newspaper ad, and applied to work for Dr. Rajeev Kishore’s, director of Allergy & Immunology, and Dr. Karnani’s, private practice. Debbie Murphy, nurse program coordinator in Allergy & Immunology, hired me.
What was going on in your life then?
My sons, Max and Jack, were in junior high school. Both of them were in the band. Between working full-time and driving them around, my days were full.
Have you always worked in the same department and role?
I’ve always worked as Dr. Karnani’s medical assistant. When I started in 2001, Drs. Kishore’s and Karnani’s practice was in the Cedar-Pine Building. We outgrew that space. We then moved to the Considine Professional Building, eventually becoming part of Children’s in 2010. In 2011, we moved to our current location in the Exchange Street Building.
What have your biggest contributions been while here?
The opportunity to partner with our allergists to provide compassionate care to our patients and families.
How has Akron Children’s changed since you started here?
The way we test for allergies has changed, and become much easier on our patients. Previously, we used intradermal allergy tests that pierced the skin, but now we use skin tests with plastic applicators that don’t require needles. Another big change was moving from paper charts to Epic (an electronic medical records system). It’s a lot of typing!
What gave you the most satisfaction at work?
I like watching how the kids grow up year after year and seeing them thrive and progress. Our patients don’t “age out” and range in age from babies to ages 90 and older. We see people we’ve known for a long time.
What do you look forward to the most in retirement?
Reading and spending time with my husband and sons. I’d like to visit my youngest son, who recently moved to California.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Taking long walks, shopping with my sister, Cindy, and relaxing.
Do you have any advice for people just starting at Children’s?
Take advantage of the benefits offered, especially tuition reimbursement.
What couldn’t you live without?
Besides family, sugar cookies with frosting and sleepy-time tea.
What’s the last book you read?
“The Family That Couldn’t Sleep: A Medical Mystery” by D.T. Max
What’s the last movie you saw?
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”