Interview with Senior Information Specialist Donna Lowich on being an Information Specialist

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on March 25, 2020 # Lifestyle

What first interested you about the position?

I was drawn to the idea of helping people who are injured and their families with information and resources to help through a very difficult time in their lives. As a spinal cord injured person, I remembered all too well how it affected my family. I felt then, and still do, that this was the opportunity I had been looking for and waiting for—to be able to, on a daily basis, provide the information, resources, as well as some personal experiences when needed, to encourage and support those affected by spinal cord injury and paralysis.Information Specialists at Reeve Foundation

When a friend called to tell me that she had seen a job ad for an Information Specialist at the Paralysis Resource Center, which was about to open, I knew I needed to apply. That was eighteen years ago!

When I was injured nearly thirty-five years ago, there was the feeling of isolation, of “going it alone” for my family and me. There was no Internet and no place to turn to ask the multitude of questions and concerns that seemed to come up almost on a daily basis. It was a lonely and scary time.

Here was my chance to help stop that from happening to other families!

What is the best/favorite part of being an Information Specialist?

For me, the best part of being an Information Specialist is connecting with a client through email or via the phone and being able to provide the most appropriate resources that will help them make the best decision when it comes to selecting a rehabilitation center, or giving them the information to avoid a skin or pressure injury or how to recognize a dangerous condition such as autonomic dysreflexia.

To be able to listen, answer questions and just to be there for those who are in need is a blessing and a gift to me. This is what the Information Specialist team does for clients every day.

Was there a time that you helped someone and saw a profound impact on them from your assistance and resources?

It is very gratifying to know that we can help our clients with their questions and concerns with our wide array of resources, including our fact sheets, patient education materials, our Peer & Family Support Program and Reeve Connect, our online community.

But we can also help in an even more visible way.

In the past two years, using the resources of the PRC, I was able to match a young man who lives in a nursing home with a donated wheelchair. He would get tired wheeling himself while in the community so his outside journeys were limited. Now, with the motorized chair, he can go out frequently without experiencing the fatigue of his past trips.

What is the hardest part of this position?

Oddly, I feel the hardest part of the job is also the most rewarding. To hear or read the stories of people who are looking for answers and/or seeking a willing ear to listen to their very personal situations is always difficult. But to be able to provide the information and resources that can give them some help and some hope is very gratifying!

I love my job.