Lauren Mathena: Community Strong Person of the Year 2016

Lauren Michelle Mathena is the Marketing Director at All Care Home Health, the Center for Pediatric Therapies and Danville Orthopedic & Athletic Rehab. Lauren holds a Master of Health Administration from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia and Danville Public Schools. Lauren returned to Danville in 2010 after completing the Administrative Fellowship in Operations at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Through networking, Lauren has enjoyed many opportunities to develop leadership skills and experience through community involvement. Lauren currently serves as President of the Danville Science Center Foundation, Project Manager for the IdeaFest Business Pitch Competition, and Race Director for the Dan River Autism Awareness 5k. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the UVA Club of Southern Virginia and Danville After Hours Rotary. Lauren is the daughter of Tommy and Susan Mathena of Pittsylvania County.

Why is community involvement so important to you?

Community involvement is the opportunity to engage in dialogue and collaboration with local leaders and community members around issues important to you… Most important to me is improving quality of life. I am inspired by the positive energy driving the collective vision for a brighter future for this community. Offering my time and talents to build community capacity, increase non-profit impact and enact change is challenging, rewarding, and fun.

How do you balance life, work, and community involvement?

 Work-life balance is the concept of separating out “between ‘work’ (career and ambition) and ‘lifestyle’ (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).” That doesn’t often work in today’s connected world or in this small community. Life is a beautiful blend. My dad is my boss. My mom is a colleague in the medical community. My friends are my partners in planning Rotary fundraisers, hosting the IdeaFest business pitch competition, and reimagining the Danville Science Center. My mentors are personal and professional role models… I still need balance. To find it, I just breathe. I take time to appreciate coffee in the morning, yoga after work, and free time on the weekends. And I always eat lunch.

Who are your real-life heroes and why?

My co-workers and colleagues in the medical community: nurses, therapists, doctors, first responders… Healthcare providers, along with educators, are the professionals who dedicate themselves to making our community better by personally, positively impacting the lives of other people every day… Also, my parents, who continue to teach me the value of sweat equity. My friends, who are living their dreams as successful professionals and new parents… I look around and see so many amazing people. I am humbled to be recognized as a community leader when my efforts are miniscule compared to so many others around me.

What is your idea of happiness?

Happiness is what we choose every day. It is being grateful for being alive, for being loved, and for the opportunity to chase dreams. It is enjoying the present and believing in the future.

What are your favorite things to do in Danville?

Yoga at Hot Asana, dinner at Me’s Burger’s and Brews, biking on the Riverwalk Trail, spending quality time with family and friends… These are a few of my favorite things!

What are your visions for the future of Danville?

Competitive education, excellent health outcomes, improved quality of life for all.

What are you most looking forward to in 2017?

I always look forward to the New Year as a fresh start and a time for visioning and goal setting. In 2016, I focused on simplifying and it has helped me to appreciate the gifts I have been given. In 2017, I look forward to refining my focus and reaching new heights. It is going to be the best year yet.