nurse

From patient to administrative leader: Lucy’s story

Dr. Lucy Morizio’s connection to orthopaedics began long before she joined CHOC Children’s as director of the Orthopaedic Institute.

A self-described daredevil as a child, when Lucy was 5 years old, she fell off her swing set and broke her fibula – a bone in the lower leg. She didn’t know it at the time, but this experience would ultimately impact her career path.

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Lucy, around the time she suffered a broken bone.

Lucy’s parents brought her to a local emergency department for an X-ray, where doctors noticed her bone was indeed broken, and put a cast on her leg.

However, a few weeks later her dad noticed the cast looked crooked, so they went back to the emergency department. Another X-ray showed that her bones were not properly aligned, so she needed to be re-casted.

She wore a new cast from her groin to her toe for a few more weeks. Her total time spent in the casts was around eight weeks — which felt like an eternity in the midst of summer vacation.

When her cast was removed, she began physical therapy and aqua-therapy to regain the strength and coordination she had lost.

“My therapists were amazing; they would make paper dolls with me after sessions—there were no iPads for kids like there are now,” Lucy said.

Then an almost-Kindergartener, Lucy had already developed an interest in healthcare at a young age. Her mom volunteered at a hospital, and her uncle was a gastroenterologist.

“I had an amazing experience with my therapists, which propelled me into the healthcare field. I already had a passion for it, and my experience piqued my interest.”

Lucy eventually became a podiatrist, then transitioned into the newborn screening program and later to the administrative side of healthcare. Today, she is responsible for the strategic planning and growth of CHOC’s Orthopaedic Institute.

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Lucy Morizio, director of the CHOC Children’s Orthopaedic Institute

“My experience in breaking my leg steered me towards pediatrics because the doctors and physical therapists made it a good experience,” Lucy said. “They had a certain charisma in dealing with kids. They had a different – and unique – approach to patient care. I’ve tried to take that with me.”

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