Introducing Board of Directors: Lori Brennan

We’re presenting a new blog series introducing the people behind Believe in Me: the decision-makers, relationship builders, creators, strategists, and more. This series will include interviews with our directors, CEO, staff members, volunteers, and everyone who makes our mission possible.

Taking the Lead on Ethics and Compliance in Healthcare

Today, we want to introduce one of the longest-standing directors on our board, Lori Brennan. This fantastic woman joined the team in 2018 and has been the Board Treasurer since 2021. Lori has spent most of her life working in the healthcare system. She graduated in Health Administration from the University of Phoenix, completed her MBA at Western Governors University, and received certifications in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) and Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC) and ADA Coordinator (ADAC).

Lori has worked with various healthcare organizations to develop and implement effective compliance, privacy, and civil rights programs. Her work includes collaborating with the CEO, other executive team members, and the board to lead initiatives that foster a culture where they practice ethical and compliant behavior. She works tirelessly to detect and correct violations of applicable laws, standards, and regulatory requirements in her work and volunteer role at Believe in Me.

A Sneak Peek at Who Lori Brennan Is

In this exclusive interview, we will learn more about Brennan, connect with her as a board member with her work and as a human, and learn how a great team is changing the lives of marginalized kids. In addition, every question relates to our mission and our five pillars of caring: transitional living, education, enrichment, wraparound services, and foster care & adoption.

A transcript of Brennan’s answers, shortened for brevity, can be found below.

Transitional Living – A Safe Place to Call Home

Believe in Me: Did you have a safe place to call home growing up?

Lori Brennan: Yes! I was lucky to have a safe place to call home. I grew up in a middle-class family.

Believe in Me: What’s your happy place?

Lori Brennan: Some years ago, I started a garden in my backyard, and since then, it has become my happy place. I grow flowers, some fruits, and herbs. Months ago, I had to redesign my garden when my dogs started to eat all the plants. I’m glad I could figure out how to keep my plants and dogs apart. When my kids were young, I loved to paint. I painted my kids’ bedrooms with giant murals of superheroes, princesses, Nickelodeon characters, and even Star Wars characters! I also painted some murals in the houses of people I knew.

Believe in Me: Do you speak any other languages?

Lori Brennan: Arabic. I lived in Saudi Arabia for eight years. I went there without knowing the language, but I had to learn it to communicate to survive. I don’t practice it that much anymore. 

Foster Care and Adoption – A Family That Loves Them

Believe in Me: Who are the people that you call family?

Lori Brennan: My kids, my siblings, and my friends. I’m lucky to have friends I consider family.

Believe in Me: What important lesson(s) did you learn from your parents/teachers/coaches?

Lori Brennan: Never give up; keep trying!

Wraparound Services – A Feeling of Community

Believe in Me: Can you tell us a story about a friend who helped you through a difficult time?

Lori Brennan: After eight years of living in Saudi Arabia, returning to the USA was a significant change. I was reorganizing my life, but I had a lot of friends helping me and supporting me during that considerable change.

Believe in Me: What role have your friends played in your life?

Lori Brennan: I’m fortunate to have my friends. I can count on them during fun and sadness or whenever I need their support. They’re there for me.

Education – Opportunities to Learn

Believe in Me: What is your favorite thing about your career?

Lori Brennan: I have to read a lot but learn something new daily. In addition, I have the chance to help people and talk to patients, which always makes me happy.

Believe in Me: What academic accomplishments make you the proudest?

Lori Brennan: I’m proud I could go to the next level and get my master’s degree.

Enrichment – Build Self-esteem and Have Fun

Believe in Me: What was your hobby when you were a kid?

Lori Brennan: Playing outside with my friends around the neighborhood was one of my favorite things. I also used to love sewing. I will sew blankets, hats, scarves, and other clothes!

Believe in Me: What is the most exciting adventure you have done?

Lori Brennan: Definitely, moving to Saudi Arabia! 

Lori Brennan’s Believe in Me story

Believe in Me: Who is your hero? Do you have a Believe in Me story? 

Lori Brennan: When I moved back to the US, the director of the place I worked was my mentor and inspiration to start getting more involved in healthcare. I wouldn’t be doing what I do if it was not for her. 

Believe in Me: What would it be if you could change one thing about society?

Lori Brennan: More opportunity for kids. No matter where they come from, all kids should have equal opportunities to succeed. We should make it easier for them to go to school, find their passions, learn, and develop their skills.

About Lori’s Involvement on the Board of Directors

Believe in Me: What strengths do you bring to the table? 

Lori Brennan: I consider myself a driving person. I’m passionate about helping, and I care about the community and kids. I want to be part of the change, and Believe in Me is where I can help kids the most.

Believe in Me: What about our mission excites you?

Lori Brennan: Helping kids! We’re capable of making a big difference. 

Believe in Me: When and why did you start interested in philanthropy? 

Lori Brennan: Always! But I have to give credit to Julie Wukelic. When I met her and she explained the mission, vision, and values of Believe in Me, I knew I had found a place to change and support kids’ lives. 

Lori Brennan has exemplified excellence and has worked tirelessly to promote positive healthcare in our community. Her exemplary leadership and drive are inspiring; she is truly a hero! We can all find inspiration in Lori Brennan’s story, understand that we each can impact our communities, and then take action. Whether it’s volunteering for a cause you believe in or financially supporting an organization working towards improving medical care, every person can do their part. Get involved, donate, and volunteer – together, we can move mountains in caring for other individuals. Let us be inspired by Lori Brennan’s story of integrity and commitment to making the quality of healthcare excellence available throughout our communities!

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