By Ashley Cooper | Photo by John Lee Published in Rochester Woman Magazine.
“Happiness…consists in giving, and in serving others.” –Henry Drummond
According to Lois Irwin, Director of Provider Services at UMI UltraMobile Imaging, there is no greater gratification in life than to be awarded the opportunity to serve others.
Readied with a commendable sense of altruism, Irwin began her professional life with an unyielding desire to champion the betterment of the less fortunate. After completing undergraduate work in sociology at Cornell University, Irwin found herself a volunteer for a Lutheran mission’s hospital in West Africa. For two years, Irwin worked alongside Liberian nurses, venturing into remote villages and setting up a mobile health clinic. It was there that Irwin and her team would attend to the welfare of women and children, administering immunizations and evaluating the effects of malnourishment. It was this experience, coupled by a stint as a foreign exchange student to Sweden in years prior that solidified Irwin’s interest in developing nations.
Irwin returned to Cornell to attain her Master of Business Administration, concentrating on economic development. While finding a job that consummately appealed to her interests proved to be challenging, Irwin seized the opportunity to work for IBM as a senior forecaster due to the company’s international affiliation. After a successful tenure with the technology and consulting corporation, Irwin joined Xerox in 1989 where she would thrive in various roles in management, marketing and strategic planning. It was the placement with Xerox that prompted Irwin’s move to the Flower City.
Irwin commenced her present role with UMI UltraMobile Imaging approximately four years ago upon wedding the company’s owner, Will Irwin. The alliance proved to be beneficial, not only for Lois Irwin’s career, but for the company as a whole. UMI UltraMobile Imaging is renowned in the community for providing a unique service under local ownership and operation while maintaining the utmost level of customer service. The Irwins individually sit on local boards that strive to optimize healthcare for the elderly population through organizations such as Lifespan and GRAPE (Greater Rochester Area Partnership for the Elderly).
UltraMobile is unique in that it provides “mobile diagnostic exams in skilled nursing facilities, independent and assisted living environments, adult homes, private physician clinics, and private patient residences,” according to the company’s website.
“We have a fleet of vehicles serviced by technologists who take x-ray equipment or ultrasound equipment into a patient’s home,” says Irwin of the company’s operation. “They actually go to the bedside and do an x-ray or ultrasound. Using the digital technology, they transmit that image up into the cloud and have it read by a radiologist who takes a report which goes back to the ordering physician.”
Among the other diagnostic exams performed by UltraMobile include EKG and holter monitoring. With UMInet, ordering clinicians can access a patient’s report from anywhere at any time. Authorized staff can also view and print bills and evaluating patient statistics with the help of cutting-edge technology. It is a convenient service for the elderly who are bedridden or for whom travel is painful or traumatizing.
For Irwin, working with her husband has proven to be significantly rewarding.
“It’s much better than I thought it would be,” shares Irwin of the experience. “What we both realized is that we’re both worried about the same things. We get to share in the excitement and we can share the challenges of dealing with the issues. We’re able to divide things up so that we don’t step on each other’s feet too much. We enjoy it; it’s a very interesting time to be in healthcare because things are changing so rapidly. We also take a lot of pleasure in the work that we do because we feel that we’re helping the elderly population. It’s a good thing. I get a more satisfaction doing this than I ever did in the corporate world.”
Irwin is also gratified by the opportunity to thrive in a role that highlights the culmination of the accomplishments of her life’s work. She shares that this position emphasizes “the talents and skills that I’ve developed over the years as well as the passion that I have for doing good for other people. That’s a great feeling. It’s very satisfying being in this role.”
A third-generation career woman, Irwin expresses that her present success can be attributed to the influence of both her mother and grandmother alike. Irwin’s grandmother was an early twentieth-century nurse during a staggering influenza epidemic. Additionally, Irwin’s mother, widowed twice, worked without ceasing to support her family.
When asked what the markings of a great company leader entail, Irwin humbly replies, “I think that if you behave in a way that’s the best you can be, that is observed, respected and imitated by the people around you. I work from a basis of trying to inspire the people who work for me to be the best that they can be and help our company succeed.”