Employee Spotlight: Leticia Graham, Executive Coordinator

December 10, 2021
Leticia Graham

A seasoned professional in orthopaedic surgery, Leticia Graham, executive coordinator at the George Washington University (GW) Medical Faculty Associates (MFA), has gathered threads of gratitude and compassion over time at the department, and her generosity has made her a paragon of warmth and professionalism. Here, she discusses her trust in her team and why empathetic treatment of patients is essential.
What is your role at GW, and what does it entail?
I serve as the executive coordinator at the GW MFA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. I’m the executive administrative assistant to Sam Moghtaderi, MD, who is an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, program director of the Orthopaedic Surgery Residency program, and a hand, wrist, and elbow specialist. My role involves extensive administrative responsibilities, task management, surgical coordinating for hand and upper extremity procedures, along with obtaining proper authorizations, meeting and event planning, and juggling a busy multi-line phone system.
How did you get started at GW? 
I’ve been at the GW MFA for 14 years starting in 2007. I was living in New York at the time, working in the orthopaedic department at Beth Israel Medical Center, and I was looking to relocate back to the DMV area. I came across the position for executive coordinator to the chairman of the orthopaedic department [at the GW MFA]. I immediately applied and was called to come in and interview, which was probably the longest interview in the history of interviews (lol). I arrived at 9 a.m. the morning of my interview and didn’t leave until 5 p.m. that evening. I had to meet with our then and current PGA Tanya Keys and the other administrative staff in the department, and I needed to stick around and wait for the chairman of the department at the time, Robert J. Neviaser, MD, to interview me last. I was hired and became Dr. Neviaser’s executive administrative assistant for 10 years of his 28-year term as chair of the department. I also served as the assistant to his son, Andrew Nevaiser, MD, and later became the assistant to hand and upper extremity specialists Elisa Knutsen, MD, and Jonathan Pribaz. MD. I now assist Dr. Moghtaderi.
What accomplishments here are you particularly proud of?
I am particularly proud of the growth and strength of our department. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to watch and witness our orthopaedic residents as they move up through the residency program, graduate, and start their journey, either at other practices or their own practice.  
I’ve also watched our department go through a lot of changes over the years, but I’m particularly proud of the past couple of years. The orthopaedic department and staff have been hit hard with a few life-changing challenges, and I’ve watched as our department has come together as a unit to support one another on a deeply personal level. It just shows the love, care, and tenacity to push forward through some really tough times.
What lessons have you learned while working here?
We should treat one another and our patients with the same compassion and care we would offer to one of our own family members. When patients call, they are in need, and some are in pain; we need to take that in consideration and go that extra inch, step, and mile as you would want someone to do for you. 
I also learned that teamwork makes the dream WORK!! Everyone plays a role in your department, and it’s extremely important to do your job or play your role to the best of your ability because it affects everyone if you do not.
What excites you the most about your job?
I’m excited and inspired by progress. I love watching the progression of our department and fellow team members. I get inspired by growth, and the patients inspire me as well. There’s nothing like when you see a patient and they recognize you, and you have a quick conversation and just see a smile on their face, or they say thank you for your help or job well done. That inspires me to never stop trying to help.
What do you appreciate about your team at GW?
I would just like to add that my 14 years here at GW have been an amazing experience. I can honestly say that this is my “work family,” and just like any other family, you may have your ups and downs over the years, but you never stop caring and supporting one another. I have no regrets and am glad I made the decision 14 years ago to say yes when offered the position.

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