DeEtta Ard-McDonald has learned the importance of trust throughout her 30-year marriage to her husband, Everett.
DeEtta and Everett met when she was 15 and he was 16 at a festival in East Chicago, Indiana. They had a mutual friend and Everett asked for DeEtta’s phone number. She wasn’t allowed to date until she turned 16, so they spoke on the phone every day for a few months, developing a friendship first. She liked that he was smart, funny, thoughtful and easy to talk to. When they began dating, he’d drive to her home from a neighboring town about 30 minutes away and they would spend time together a few hours a week.
Together, they attended Indiana University. They married when she was 27 and had two children, Maxx, 29, and Jade, 27. DeEtta said Everett has never given her a reason not to trust him. Having trust with Everett makes her feel secure.
“In my marriage, I had to trust that my husband was doing the best thing for our family to move us forward and reach our goals, and he had to trust me to do the same,” she said.
DeEtta views trust as the foundation of all relationships.
“To me, trust means transparency, open communication, support, encouragement and just wanting to be the best for the other person in that relationship,” she said.
Earlier in her career, DeEtta worked as a pharmacy technician. She transitioned to a career in sales when her two children were young after Everett, who also works in sales, suggested it. Her first sales role was a flexible, part-time position that enabled her to spend more time with her kids. As her children grew older, she moved back into full-time work. She enjoys sales because of the flexibility and because she has the chance to interact with different people every day.
DeEtta considers trust to be important to the work she does at Novocure. She joined Novocure in 2015 as a Territory Manager on the U.S. Business Team. In her role, she is responsible for sales and account management-related activities in South Chicago. Her job entails establishing and maintaining relationships with health care providers. In order to do that effectively, she has to earn their trust.
“Trust with providers is built by being reliable, by being resourceful, and just by letting my providers know that I am there to support them so they can better support their patients,” she said.
When establishing a relationship with a new provider, DeEtta focuses on the data supporting Novocure’s cancer treatment in glioblastoma. If they have prior misperceptions regarding the treatment, she does her best to educate them and gives them time to trust that she is providing them with accurate information. She knows that she’s earned a provider’s trust when they become more open and begin reaching out.
“That’s a great feeling,” she said. “That’s what keeps me going.”
DeEtta also finds trust to be an important part of her interactions with her teammates. They confide in each other regarding their challenges and know that the information will not be shared outside of the conversation without permission. She also feels that Novocure’s leadership team is transparent with its colleagues.
“We have to let each segment of the organization do what they do, and we have to trust that they’re doing what’s best for the organization as a whole,” she said. “We have to trust that leadership is going to take us in the direction we need to go.”
Ultimately, for DeEtta, valuing trust goes back to the patients who are the heart of Novocure’s mission.
“I value trust because we’re providing a therapy for patients with a devastating diagnosis,” DeEtta said. “They need to know we are doing the best we can to help them.”