Arena Sayavong, clinical research coordinator for the Center for Excellence in Hand

Aug 23, 2023 / Spotlight

Get to Know our Staff: Arena Sayavong, Research

What is your job title/your role at Scottish Rite for Children? 
I am the clinical research coordinator for the Center for Excellence in Hand.
What do you do on a daily basis or what sort of duties do you have at work?
I maintain the many hand studies we have going on at Scottish Rite, some of which have been open for almost 20 years. Getting patients involved with our studies is always exciting, so consenting these patients and parents is always on the agenda.
What was your first job? What path did you take to get here or what led you to Scottish Rite? How long have you worked here?
My first job was in retail at Banana Republic Factory Store. It was a job I landed at a career fair that took place at my high school when I was 16. Since then, I’ve also been a server and medical scribe. I was introduced to clinical research following my post-graduate studies.
What do you enjoy most about Scottish Rite?
The atmosphere of Scottish Rite is friendly and fun! The nicest people in Texas are right here.
Tell us something about your job that others might not already know?
Even though I work in the Hand department, clinical research also gives me the opportunity to work with other divisions, such as Hip and Psychology. I love working with different teams and adapting to their clinical research needs.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
My parents are immigrants from Laos, a small country in southeast Asia. Visiting is always fun because it’s so rich in culture, good food and friendly people.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My favorite dish in the world is a Lao dish called “pun nam cheun,” which is a kind of do-it-yourself lettuce wrap using egg rolls, vegetables and herbs. It’s fresh, perfect for a hot day and guilt free.
If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
I was a big dinosaur nerd growing up, so I think it would be cool to go back in time to witness them (before disaster hits, of course).
What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
Definitely chapstick, SPF and a LifeStraw.
What’s one fun fact about yourself?
I started a nonprofit organization called Texas Flourish Project, which is dedicated to spreading smiles through the gift of repurposed flower arrangements.
We’ve received tons of flower donations that were left over from weddings and other special events, including ones taking place here at Scottish Rite! Instead of tossing them in the trash, they’re repurposed into smaller bedside arrangements and donated to women’s shelters, hospice facilities, assisted living facilities and other similar establishments. We are always accepting flower and glassware donations!

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