DOVER — After losing her mother at a young age, Deanna Rigby had to learn to grow up quickly.
Ms. Rigby, who started at Bayhealth 36 years ago as a medical technologist and now serves as the administrative director of Ambulatory Care Services, was thrust into a world of adult responsibilities. Thankfully, she said had family and friends to guide her.
The experience taught her to never take life for granted.
“Traumatic events make you realize life is short, so you should enjoy the journey,” Ms. Rigby said.
Her mom’s death also inspired her to take care of her own health. Even with a busy schedule, she said she makes time every day to get some exercise, eat nutritious meals and spend time with friends and family.
“Life is stressful, and that stress negatively affects your health, so it’s important to pause for yourself both emotionally and physically,” Ms. Rigby said.
Having children reinforced the emphasis she placed on her health, as she wanted to be around to see her kids grow up. Valuing her own well-being allowed her to teach her children the importance of taking care of themselves.
“In order to live your best life, you have to feel good, so self-care is important,” Ms. Rigby said.
Those healthy habits stuck with her kids, who now work in health care.
“My children are young adults now and have thanked me and my husband for modeling healthy habits, as well as calling out bad habits, as they were growing up.”
In addition to taking care of herself and her family, Ms. Rigby also finds joy in looking out for young employees at Bayhealth. She enjoys mentoring people to reach the next level in their careers.
“Over the years, I have had many front-line staff members who I hired and encouraged to return to school for LPN, RN, NP and management positions,” she said. “It’s rewarding to watch people grow and flourish in their new roles.”
Ms. Rigby said she knows how hard it can be for women to put themselves first, but that to help others, you must help yourself first. She also wants women to know that there is no such thing as perfection.
“Perfection is a mirage so stop striving for it. Do your best, ask for help, network with other women and make yourself a priority,” she said. “Be kind and supportive to one another. Always be there for the generation ahead of and behind you.”
Throughout Women’s History Month, Bayhealth is featuring women on its team who work every day to inspire and mentor the next generation. Visit Bayhealth.org/Women to read more inspiring stories.