Many readers may interact with Lisa Duque every day without even knowing it. The on-hold voice throughout hospitals, facilities, laboratories, offices and more, she is the Ms. Moviefone of the health system.
Q: Other than being the “voice of North Shore-LIJ,” what is your position and history in the health system?
A: I am the director of enterprise telecommunications. I started with North Shore University Hospital’s nursing education team 22 years ago and moved to the Quality Management Department the next year. When we relocated, the building needed someone to assist with the landlines, so I volunteered.
Eventually, my landline responsibilities expanded to include mobile services. We have more than 6,000 North Shore-LIJ-owned mobile devices.
Q: How did it wind up being your voice on all those messages?
A: As a landline specialist, I was doing a phone system installation, which included a new voicemail system. No one wanted to do the recordings, so to move the process along, I volunteered, despite never having done it before. Eventually, my boss said there should be one voice for all North Shore-LIJ Health System recordings. I had no idea this would escalate into more than 2,300 announcements.
Q: Do employees recognize your voice when dealing with you while you’re doing your “day job”?
A: On occasion, people will ask me if that’s my voice when they call North Shore-LIJ Health System. I have to do the occasional after-hours recordings and my kids always tell me, “Do it in your real voice.” Sometimes, I’ll run into someone who tells me they think of me each time they call their physician’s office. That always makes me smile.
The most common reaction is disbelief. Even people who have known me for years question that it’s really me.
Q: What is the funniest question or reaction you have heard?
A: I was in my doctor’s office and he introduced me to his staff as the voice on the recordings and asked me to “do the voice” for them.
The most embarrassing was at the last leadership retreat in May, when I was with a friend of a friend and they kept introducing me as “the voice of North Shore-LIJ.”