Ladies don’t be too hard on yourself! That’s a lesson Joyce Irwin, President and CEO of Community Health Network Foundation, learned over the years. Now she’s sharing those words of wisdom with other women.
Joyce says she always felt a responsibility to save the world, a feeling that stems from overcoming a life-threatening medical condition as a child. She was left in a coma and woke up facing many health challenges. Joyce credits her strong family, teachers, and the community for helping her through. “A foundation helped me, which I think has led me to where I am today,” said Joyce. “The doctors and nurses, so I’ve always been fascinated with the work the doctors and nurses do so selflessly.”
After recovering, Joyce says since she was saved, she thought she had a responsibility to save the world. “I was always waiting for that big thing that I was supposed to be, that I was looking for to do,” she said. “That always left me inside feeling that I was not living up to my potential.”
Joyce says it was a discussion she had with President George W. Bush, when she was being recognized as an outstanding volunteer for the state, that led her to look through her life in a different lens. “I realized it’s not that one big thing that you’re called to do, it’s those simple things that you’re called to do every single day of your life and helping somebody every single day of your life,” she said. “And so instead of the one big thing, I now try to look for those things that I can make a difference in somebody’s life every day.”
Joyce’s passion is helping others and giving back. She mentors women to put them in the right position to achieve their best. Joyce says she’s been blessed and has had many opportunities along her career path, and she wants women to see all the possibilities. “Not always take the path that people tell you that you need to go down. That you can blaze your own trail.