HumAnes of UCLA: Lucelva "Lucy" Mendez

Introducing Lucelva "Lucy" Mendez

July 7, 2023

First off, thank you so much for sharing your story. To start, can you tell us where were you born and where you grew up?

Lucy Mendez

I was born right here in Los Angeles and have lived here my entire life! 

How long have you been at UCLA? How long have you worked with the DAPM?
I first started working for UCLA over 25 years ago. I began working with the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine in June of 2004, and began working in the Education Office two years later.

What has been your favorite part of serving in the role as the Program Coordinator for UCLA's Anesthesia department?
By far, my favorite part of my current job is working with the residents. I love watching them transition from being medical students to resident physicians, sometimes fellow physicians, and then ultimately board-certified anesthesiologists. Many of them aren't married when they first start their training, and several often have started growing families by the time they finish residency. I just love seeing all of the achievements and growth they have made during residency.


How many emails would you estimate that you receive in a "normal" day? What's your secret to keeping yourself organized?
Who told you I was organized?! On a typical day, I get over 200 emails. My secret is that I have a terrific team that I can forward many emails to, and I also take one email at a time to make it more manageable.

Where in the city do you live now? Why did you choose it?
I live in Mid-City. I chose to live there because I just so happened to have grown up there and never wanted to leave. You can say that I am a creature of habit. It is very centrally located, so I am near everything (including, and probably most importantly, work!).

What are your favorite hobbies with the little time you have outside of your busy work schedule?
My favorite hobbies are traveling and spending time with my loved ones (my family and close friends).

Tell me about your last vacation! Any plans for another big trip this summer?


My last big vacation was to Cancun, MexicoI had never been and was really looking forward to it. Cancun has become one of my favorite places I have visitedeverything about trip was amazing from the people, to the food, to the incredible beaches. This summer I will be celebrating one of my best friends' 50th birthdays by going on a European cruise to Spain, Italy, and France.

Do you have any pets? If you don't, what pet do you wish you had?
I don't have a pet, but my brother (who lives next door) has a dog "Atlas," who likes to spend a lot of time at my place, so it feels like I do have a pet.

What is your favorite spot to grab lunch or coffee in Westwood?
I don't really have a favorite place to grab lunch in Westwood because I usually don't leave the office when I'm onsite (I know that sounds horrible). I want people to know, though, that I do get a lunch break! Outside of Westwood, there are too many places in LA to name for good food. That is one of the things that I love most about living here—any type of delicious cuisine is only minutes away.