by Cat Olcott
Viki is the Program Coordinator for the University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. As such, she wears many hats – she handles the recruitment line for ADRC clinical studies, helps prepare grants for submission to federal and state agencies, coordinates UW travel needs, handles food and meeting plans, budget reports, VA orders, equipment breakdowns and numerous other “go to” job functions all related to the day-to-day functioning of the ADRC.
Of her typical day she says, “There really is no schedule – I work the front desk and the phones, which means I’m open to everything and everybody. I usually have a plan, but that’s out the window five minutes after I hit my desk! It’s hectic, but I kind of like it that way.”
Of her contributions to the ADRC, probably the one she is most proud of is the ADRC Program Support Fund. This fund is a combination of individual and group donations, including in some cases memorials from wills and estates in memory of a loved one. These donations benefit new investigators with strong backgrounds in Alzheimer’s research, as well as helping purchase scientific equipment used in the Research Center. Donations to this fund help fill the gap in federal and state funding which cannot support the growing need for AD research. Under Viki’s care, the Program Support fund has grown from a few donations per month to hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars per month. “I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this fund. I am gratified to see that effort paying off. Every day I speak with family members who have lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s. It’s heartbreaking. I know the Program Support Fund is helping find a cure.”
Viki began working for the ADRC half-time in 2000, and became full-time within six months. “I was somewhat intimidated initially; all these doctors – I thought they’d have no sense of humor. I couldn’t have been more off base. I work with a great group of people...funny, smart, and a little bit insane. They are so dedicated to their patients and to their work.”
Before joining the UW, Viki dabbled in numerous professions - five years as a restaurant manager, a year cooking on a crab boat in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, work as a landscaper, and as a waitress at Duke’s restaurant. Viki was a freelance journalist with the Eastside Journal newspaper; her beat was human interest and she covered stories from Bosnia to breast cancer. Writing has always been her passion. She graduated with a double BA in Communications-Journalism and Speech Communication from the UW.
Away from the office Viki spends lots of time in the large garden she started from a blackberry patch dug out by shovel. She also enjoys music (from opera to hip-hop), camping, drawing, traveling and spending time with her boyfriend.
Currently, she is in the process of an impromptu remodel, having been “homeless” since the big flood of November 6, 2006, living out of a suitcase with friends and family. “FEMA has suddenly “discovered” me; I’m their current poster child, but the last three months were hell. I’m looking forward to some alone time–that’s what I really miss, that and being reunited with my large Siamese cat, Frank.”
UW Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Program Support Fund
For more information please contact: Victoria Hoyt, ADRC Program Coordinator
at 206-764-2749 or toll-free at 1-800-329-8387, Ext. 6-2749
Checks should be made out to ADRC and addressed to:
APSHCS (S-116 6E)
Attn: Viki Hoyt
1660 S. Columbian Way
Seattle, WA 98108
If next of kin notification is requested, simply provide that contact information.