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Zoila LaChapelle

Photo of Zoila LaChapelle Position: Radiation Protection Technician
Years of Service: 7
Resides: Setauket, NY

Zoila LaChapelle is employed as a Radiation Protection Technician in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Since arriving in the fall of 2006, Zoila has proved to be a valuable member of the campus community both professionally and through her willingness to volunteer for many campus events. She initially began her career in environmental protection as an intern in the Environmental Health and Safety track as a Health Sciences major. Zoila has been responsible for helping maintain compliance with Stony Brook’s broad scope radiation license, performing important tasks such as laboratory radiation inspections, radiation inventory control, radiation contamination surveys, radiation fume hood inspections, medical health physics, and environmental radiation protection. Zoila is a member of Radiation Protection Service’s Operations Team, responsible for the technical aspects of the radiation safety program, on both east and west campus. Being a broad scope licensee, Stony Brook must maintain strict compliance with NYSDOH State Sanitary Code 16 regulations and the specific conditions as outlined in our radiation license. These requirements are numerous and SBU is held accountable for any deviation from those regulations and conditions. Zoila’s position along with Hans and Jed provides the university with a full-time radiation safety technical staff, able to meet the needs of our radiation researchers, patients, and staff in keeping radiation exposures to the public and environment As Low as Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). Additionally, Zoila is responsible for the Ancillary Personnel Radiation Safety Training Program, and holds training programs for both English and Spanish speaking employees.

Zoila's overall approach to the job meshes well with the accepted philosophy of a good radiation safety program. That is, she is extremely organized and insistent in maintaining rock-solid safety in the lab and clinical environment. Working alongside her colleagues at Radiation Protection Services, she has helped Stony Brook University attain an excellent radiation safety inspection record for the past five years. Most notable, however, is her contribution to the university’s medical radiation safety program. Zoila was able to add a Spanish translation to the I-131 Brachytherapy patient radiation safety instructions, thus providing clear, concise safety guidelines for our Spanish speaking patients. This contribution to the medical radiation safety program is perhaps one of her greatest accomplishment because she was helping Stony Brook University Medical Center provide compassionate care while maintaining the highest standards of safety both for employees, patients, and the general public. Zoila finds the translation portion of her job to be the most rewarding. "Spanish speaking patients did not have access to medical paperwork in their native language; I was able to translate all of it."

Zoila serves on the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee; she participates in the EOP program; and is a member of the Alumni Association. In her free time she enjoys drawing, painting, running, and cooking. She is tackling the world of baking, and hopes to continue to learn the skills she needs to make perfect desserts! An avid chess player, Zoila seeks out the countryside when not working, enjoying the peace. Finally, these are words that Zoila lives by: "Be kind to everyone, without expecting anything in return."

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