Pat Guichet is the Senior Design & Construction Project Manager at SSM Health. She serves on our Board of Directors, as well as our Executive Committee. Read below to get to know a little more about her!
Q: Where did you grow up? What brought you to St. Louis?
- A: I was born and raised in St. Louis. I lived in Kirkwood, Maplewood, and then moved to Ferguson around the age of 5.
Q: Where did you go to college?
- A: I am a high school dropout, had my baby when I was 16. I went back to school when the kids were in the late years of grade school so that I could be better educated to help them with their homework. I received my GED when I was around 30 and started going to community college soon after that. It took me 14 years to get my associate’s in Interior Design taking one class a semester. With small kids at home, that’s all I could swing while working a full-time job and a few part-time gigs. I did receive my bachelor’s from UMSL in 2020, at the height of the pandemic. Cool fact about that, my grandson and I would have walked at our graduation on the same day.
Q: What brought you to work in the AEC Industry?
- A: It was by chance. I started working as a housekeeper at a local hospital in the early 1980s. After a few years, I transferred to the paint department, applied to be an apprentice painter, and when I left, I was the paint supervisor.
Q: What’s your favorite part about your position?
- A: Quite frankly, I love to be in charge. I am the oldest of 6 kids, so leading has always been my thing. I also love the space and the environments I create (along with my teams). I create spaces that people heal in – I feel it’s one of the most important jobs there is.
Q: What is your proudest moment from working at SSM Health?
- A: There are many, but one that comes to mind is the SSM Health Mission Statement. I have always felt a strong connection to God and feel he has blessed me in more ways than I can imagine. So, while designing spaces, I felt it was important to let people see our mission statement, not having to look it up on Google. Most of our facilities have the mission statement in the lobby or in their waiting rooms. I am so proud of that. “Through our exceptional healthcare experiences, we reveal the healing presence of God.”
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Any special hobbies?
- A: I have lots of hobbies, probably too many. I love to create. I paint, take photos, work with wood and just recently started to quilt. My photos have been on the cover of a national magazine, and my paintings are hung in some of our STL facilities. I try to create a piece of artwork for most of my projects if time allows and there is a location for it.
Q: What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
- A: I feel I am an open book, so if you know me you probably know a lot about me. I am the oldest of 6, born in STL, I am married to my husband of 25 years, and we have a blended family of 4 grown children, 9 grandkids, and one new great-grandson.
Q: What, if anything, are you currently watching, reading, listening to, etc.?
- A: I love podcasts, I enjoy listening to Joyce Meyer every morning (she has a daily 15-minute podcast). I just got a new book I plan to read titled “Boss Up,” by Lindsay Teague Moreno.
Q: What advice do you have for young professionals in our industry?
- A: So, my granddaughter is one of my “mentees”. She has followed in my footsteps, working as a construction project manager, and it suits her well. We talk every day about what is going on in her world. I give her advice on how to handle situations. I would tell a new person coming into our industry, to keep going. Don’t stop, make a plan, stick with it, pivot if you need to, but stay the course. Find a mentor, someone who is in the industry and is willing to advise you as you go. Spend time with your mentor, not only to talk about work but about you and your life.