Let’s continue our “Get to Know Our Team” series! Next up, we have our fearless leader, Sarah Palya, and CEO and founder of Gus Gear.
Q: Where do you call home?
A: “I grew up in south-western Pennsylvania and moved to Richmond, Virginia where I completed my bachelor’s degree. After having my two children, we moved to the Pittsburgh, PA area where we have been fortunate to find excellent healthcare for Gus.”
Q: What’s your professional background?
A: “My bachelor’s is in Music Education, and I taught middle school band prior to having my life turned upside down by the arrival of my medically complex son, Gus. Since starting Gus Gear over a decade ago, I’ve learned a tremendous amount ‘on the job’ about manufacturing and business. I’m currently pursuing my Executive Master of Business Administration in Healthcare at the University of Pittsburgh.”
Q: How did you come to work at Gus Gear?
A: “In the beginning, I started Gus Gear to connect with other people going through similar medical challenges. Being part of this medically complex community is not for the faint of heart! I continually see the strength and resilience of others in this community who are taking their experience and helping others through research, advocacy, and grassroots healthcare policy change. Gus Gear is my contribution to our community.”
Q: Choose three words to describe Gus Gear.
A: “Tenacious, Impactful, Mission-Driven”
Q: Choose three words to describe yourself.
A: “Determined, Thoughtful, Committed”
Q: What issue or cause are you passionate about?
A: “I believe everyone deserves equitable access to healthcare and necessary social services. Beyond Gus Gear, I’m passionate about disability services and their availability to people like my son who will need full-time care and services for his entire lifetime. There are thousands of families in my state who are navigating this journey alongside me, and it is a challenge I am deeply interested in helping to solve.”
Q: Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are they?
A: “Taking care of Gus, getting my MBA, and running Gus Gear doesn’t leave me a lot of free time! However, I love to hike when the weather in western PA allows it, and I’m a voracious reader — mostly audio books while I’m hiking! My daughter and I love to take in live music of all kinds: musicals, the symphony, and ballet (all fantastic in Pittsburgh) and all kinds of concerts and shows.”
Q: What’s your favorite quote, or a quote you feel describes your life?
A: “‘I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that; then I realized that I am somebody.’ (Lily Tomlin) We each have something we can contribute to making our community a little better. I hope to look back over my life and see that I’ve been able to do that.”
If you have any questions for our team members about Gus Gear products, contact us today! Our mission is to build a community of caregivers — that includes our team, your family, and your team of healthcare providers.