Meet Eloisa Fournier, Alum, Respiratory Therapy A.A.S.

Eloisa: “…now that I have returned to teach I realize even more how LSC faculty set the standard for rich engagement with students and I desire to meet and exceed that standard whenever possible – whether it be on campus or in the hospital.”  Eloisa Fournier portrait

Eloisa “Ellie” Fournier graduated from Lake Superior College with honors in 2018 and has a bachelor’s degree in Pulmonary Science from Concordia St. Paul University. She currently works as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at Essentia Health and teaches in LSC’s Allied Health Department. While navigating hybrid learning for key prerequisite courses for the school’s healthcare programs, she spends much of her time during the week as a respiratory therapy clinical instructor at Essentia. “The current health pandemic has presented many challenges this fall semester for clinical based programs such as respiratory therapy. But it has been the priority of the college and instructors to ensure that students are safe and can still be trained to provide the best patient care within any limitations that may be set.” Fournier works to get her students at the bedside as much as possible and when it isn’t, they are practicing clinical simulation. “I have always attributed much of my success as a student and working therapist to my LSC instructors – and now that I have returned to teach I realize even more how LSC faculty set the standard for rich engagement with students and I desire to meet and exceed that standard whenever possible – whether it be on campus or in the hospital.”

While Fournier’s early background was in sales, she had personal family scare that propelled her into healthcare. “My firstborn child came into the world prematurely. I remember thinking to myself that there was so much that was about to happen that I had zero control of and it was very unsettling. But I began to notice how this team of healthcare workers remained calm and ensured me that they would be there the entire time keeping a close eye on everything and that I didn’t need to worry. After delivery we spent some time in Essentia’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and again I watched as the staff worked simultaneously to care for my daughter, while making sure our needs as parents were taken care of. It truly amazed me and I realized that I needed to be a part of a team like that – working diligently to provide the best care to patients in their scariest moments.”

Fournier excelled in LSC’s Respiratory Therapist program, where she was recognized as the Student of the Year. “When I started the RT program, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to make the most of it.” She headed the Respiratory Therapy Club as President which was recognized as Student Club of the Year. “Being president gave me an avenue to share skills I had already developed. My love for organization and efficiency spilled over quickly into club activities. While I did a lot of the organizing, our club members answered when they were called upon to help out. Our mission was ‘To raise awareness of the profession, educate and engage in our community and sustain a productive on-campus presence,’ and I feel all club members took this mission to heart.”

She found her clinical experience both surprising and rewarding. “One of my instructors always said, ‘Clinical is what you make of it.’ I took that to heart each time I headed into the hospitals. I would say to myself, ‘Today you are going to learn something new.’ I have found that nearly all fields of healthcare professionals enjoy sharing their knowledge, especially if you are eager to listen and learn from them.”

Originally from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Ellie Fournier now calls Duluth her home with her husband and two little girls. “I feel called to give back to this area. I am looking forward to serving the community professionally and personally.” She continues her dedication to community service through children’s ministry activities at her church and volunteering at Solvay Hospice House. “I was honored when LSC reached out to me, asking if I would return to teach. I knew from the moment of accepting an instructor role, that my life was changed for the better when I choose my path in respiratory at LSC years ago.”



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