September 2013: Marcy Doderer

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Walking the halls of Arkansas Children's Hospital Marcy Doderer feels at home.{} As a teenager she was a candy striper here.

She explains, "And my favorite assignment was when I got to stay in the infant and toddler unit the ITU."

Marcy moved to Arkansas as a child after her father Dr. JB Norton was hired to help establish the ACH cardiac program.{} She grew up in this Little Rock home thinking she might also want to be a doctor one day but then decided finance was her calling.{} Then, that too, changed when she came home to do an internship under ACH CEO Dr. Randall O'Donnell.

"And I was hooked," said Marcy.{} "It really was a changing point for me in my life and at that point I went back to Trinity and said I will finish my finance degree but I was looking into graduate programs in hospital administration and said I'm gonna run a children's hospital one day - so here I am."

The journey wasn't that simple though.

Marcy's husband Dr. Mark Dorderer explains, "She is driven, very, very smart but she's caring.{} She's a great mom."

After marrying her husband the two moved to Texas. She worked at a hospital there and then welcomed their daughters, first, Emily and three years later, Katie.{} But shortly after Katie's birth, doctors told the Doderer's their youngest daughter had a very rare medical condition called Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome.

Marcy says, "Felt like you were hit with a mack truck.{} It was a time in our lives when we just had to take it a day at a time."

Because the syndrome prevents her brain from recognizing the signals to breathe on its own, Katie would need 24 hour nursing care.

Marcy explains, "Katie's trached and on a ventilator."

Now 15, Katie also has a cardiac pacemaker and has been hospitalized more times than they can count.

Katie tells us, "The tubing can't pop off. {}I completely cease breathing while I'm asleep and because this breathes for me this would be very problematic to not be attached to it."{} Marcy adds, "It's a hard road sometimes but she's a fabulous kid and you just do what you have to do because you're the mom."

And the title of mom may be what makes her so successful at her job.

"I've had that experience of sitting in a NICU for 7 or 8 weeks, sitting in a PICU overnight, waiting in a waiting room while she has surgery - all those intense vulnerable moments that a parent experiences when a child is in a hospital," explains Marcy.

Marcy uses those experiences to help shape policy and practice inside ACH and to connect to the thousands of children being treated here.{} I know I love what I do. I have a huge passion for children's healthcare, can't imagine doing anything other than running a children's hospital and to know that I've been there as the parent, I've walked in their shoes, I think is a gift to me as an executive and something I should never forget."

As CEO you'll mostly find Marcy in her office or traveling the state educating people about ACH, but, as mom there's a good chance you'll find her in the halls with Katie heading to her next appointment and balancing it all makes her this month's most intriguing Arkansan

Marcy and her daughter Katie have spent time in Washington, DC working to influence lawmakers' decisions on healthcare including Medicaid benefits for children like Katie.{}