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When Sharp HealthCare is ‘the family business’

By The Health News Team | February 25, 2020
The Lapira family

The Lapira family not only works together at Sharp, they also enjoy spending time together during the holidays, traveling and trying out new restaurants.

What’s the old saying … “A family that works together, stays together”? That may not be how you remember the adage. But for Merle “May” Lapira, RN, BSN, and her family, it’s definitely how it goes.

May followed her husband, Jesse, a clinical laboratory specialist, and son, Justin, a registered nurse, who both work at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, to Sharp HealthCare. Their daughter, Joslyn, also a registered nurse, later joined “the family business” working at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

“I joined Sharp in 2017,” May, a nurse with Sharp Home Health, says. “A friend of mine was a home health physical therapist and had been telling me I should join the Sharp family, and my husband and son only had good things to say about their experiences. My daughter then joined in 2018.”

With more than 18,000 employees, it makes sense that Sharp HealthCare might employ multiple members of one family.

“Sharp is the largest private employer in San Diego County,” says Janet Villalobos, director of human resources with Sharp HealthCare. “I believe that it’s a testament to our culture when families make Sharp their employer of choice.”

But the Lapira family does not only work together. They also enjoy going on vacations, celebrating holidays and trying new restaurants throughout San Diego together.

Their closeness translates to the way they care for patients.

“We treat our patients the same way we treat each other at home: as family,” May says. “We always have to remember that it could be one of us in those beds.”

According to May, it is her family’s way of providing The Sharp Experience — Sharp’s unique culture of striving to always enhance the health care experience of patients, their families, doctors and colleagues — in all areas of their lives. This sentiment does not surprise Villalobos.

“Many people choose health care as a calling to be of service to people and their community,” Villalobos says. “If you’ve got family members who make health care their career, the compassion for caring is one of the intrinsic values that carries over to their patients.”

For the Lapira family, working in health care also brings them together in a special way. It enables them to share their stories with others — about the different departments in which they work, their job satisfaction and The Sharp Experience — while also connecting to one another on a different level.

“I believe that when family members choose Sharp as their employer of choice, they have experienced firsthand our commitment to being the best place to work, practice medicine and receive care,” Villalobos says. “In the truest sense for some of our employees, it’s family members treating our patients as an extension of their own family.”

Learn more about jobs for you and your loved ones at Sharp.

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