UPHS – Marquette Heroes: Alyson Sundberg, MHA, CHC, CPHRM

What is your title?

Director, Risk Management, Compliance & Emergency Services

How long have you been employed with us?

Twenty-three years total. I left in the early 90s for about five years to do some civilian hazardous waste work on Air Force bases that were closing and then came back. I’ve worked in the Histology, Medical Records, the Med Control Authority, Hyperbarics, EMS, and of course my current position.

What is a typical day like for you?

I have never had a typical day here – ever – which is the whole reason why I love my job.  Every day is different.  Some days are about patient care or legal issues, maybe compliance rules and state/federal regulations, EMS department work, or security. Other days may be claims management, looking at a doctor’s insurance needs, going to a trial or deposition, or helping the floor sort out a social/family issue or maybe a criminal situation. I try to be available 24/7, so once in a while that gets a little exhausting, but normally it’s not bad at all. 

I try to be the professional paranoid one for the whole place. I have to look at the risk of what is the worst thing that could happen in any situation. I also try to be protective of everyone. Don’t mess with our hospital, and don’t mess with our people. It may sound boring to some people, but honestly, I think I have the coolest job in the whole place.

What is something about yourself that might surprise others?

I have a 34-year old son who is a fantastic human being despite the fact that it must not have been that easy to be a child of a mom like me. Also, I love to do carpentry and small remodeling work. My family picks my birthday and Christmas gifts from the list of cool tools I always want. I have awesome saws, drills, nail guns, etc. It’s relaxing and so satisfying to buy some lumber and turn it into something cool. I remodeled my kitchen pretty much by myself including hanging all new cabinets and countertops. I’ve built some bookcases, installed new floors, changed out faucets and plumbing. I love that work!

What is your favorite part about working here at UPHS?

I have a special place in my heart for EMS.  As an industry overall, they are quirky, strong-willed, smart people that thankfully see things a little bit differently than the rest of the world – in a good way! I started my very first EMT class a little over 30 years ago, then to Paramedic school, and have been lucky enough to be a part of them in different ways throughout my career. We all have our specific jobs that we do and it takes each and every one of us to have this place do what we do. 

We are a team, and sometimes we win together and other times we lose together – but we all keep coming back every day to be the place our friends and family come to in their time of need. We need to be proud of the work we and our co-workers do. Sometimes we forget that we take care of 1000’s of people and do amazing things. I am always grateful to have had an opportunity to be a small part of that.

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