Each of the 30,000 Ohio State faculty and staff has a unique opportunity to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. Lori Abshire, Senior Director of Marketing at the Wexner Medical Center, has lived this opportunity at both a global and personal level.
Lori values her previous experiences in restaurant marketing, but when she met faculty and staff at the university during her interview process, she quickly understood the great opportunities for personal and professional growth that come with an Ohio State career.
What was Lori’s first impression of Ohio State? People. It’s the people involved, as well as the impact that she has on other people’s lives.
Lori describes her work as “incredibly rewarding.” Throughout her eight years at Ohio State, she has made a special kind of impact through telling the extraordinary stories about research discoveries and improving patients’ lives.
“The best part about working here is supporting the great work that our physicians and caregivers do every day,” Abshire said. “I get to work with the brightest minds in medicine. It’s great to be a part of something that makes a difference in so many lives and to know where I work and what I do makes a difference.”
Lori was recently recognized with a Distinguished Staff Award for the significant role she played in capitalizing on the Buckeyes’ 2014 National Championship with a social media campaign garnering millions of worldwide posts featuring specially embroidered babies’ blankets.
In 2008, a colleague of Lori’s, Jenny Brehm, Director of Nursing – Women and Infants, created scarlet and gray blankets to give to babies born at the Wexner Medical Center. It soon became a tradition for every Michigan game.
— OSU Wexner Med Ctr (@OSUWexMed) January 13, 2015
Lori took the tradition to the next level during Ohio State’s 2014 run to the football championship by creating baby blankets for every game. Her team rallied around her, and a social media campaign took off sharing photos of babies in custom blankets that said “Beat Alabama,”, “One down –One to go”, “Go Bucks Beat Ducks” and “Born a Champion.” The photos quickly went viral (pictured right), which brought the world’s eyes to the Wexner Medical Center.
While the blankets received global attention, Lori’s proudest moment is much more personal. The Wexner Medical Center’s first statewide advertising campaign led her to an Ohio artist named Don Townsend. He suffered from essential tremor, a neurological disorder, which prohibited him from not only doing his art, but also just eating.
Don received successful treatment from Dr. Ali Rezai at Ohio State, and Lori had the opportunity to tell his story. After the advertising campaign, Lori asked Don if he would do an Ohio State painting to raise money for the university’s fundraising drive. Don’s original artwork is featured in David Hall. Prints and cards were sold to raise awareness and support of the neurological program at Ohio State.
“Meeting Don was incredibly moving and I still stay in touch with him and his wife, Sandy. He traveled the country to find care and chose Ohio State and Dr Ali Rezai because he trusted us,” Abshire said. “While I’m not on the front line saving lives, I’m able to make an impact by telling people what’s possible at Ohio State. We provide hope for so many through the amazing research and discovery that is happening every day on our campus.”
Lori has also personally benefited from working at Ohio State by taking advantage of the Tuition Assistance Program. She recently earned a Master’s Degree in Business Operational Excellence from the Fisher College of Business.
The opportunity to make a difference, and experience joy at work, has made Ohio State a great place to work for Lori.