For more than 30 years, CentraState’s patient liaisons have served as a bridge between patients and their clinical teams. Also called patient representatives, these skilled problem-solvers answer patient call bells, convey test times, and let patients know what to expect. They also investigate issues and connect patients with resources, like social workers or nutritionists.
Denise Davis has been a patient liaison at CentraState for 14 years, and she’s shared some perspectives about her vital role.
Q: What patient interaction are you most proud of?
A: During the pandemic, a patient was being transported by helicopter to another facility, but her fiancé didn’t know because visitors couldn’t be in the hospital during that time. I learned that he was waiting in the parking lot, so I asked for a description of the car. I then ran up and down each row of cars to find him! When I did, he was incredibly grateful for the information.
Q: Is there a patient you’ll never forget?
A: A few years ago, I was rounding in the Emergency Department when I met a patient who hadn’t eaten for several hours. I learned that her favorite food was beef, and I found beef stroganoff meals for her and her husband. She was thrilled! She was admitted to the hospital, and I saw her again when I was having a stressful day. As we were talking, she said, “You were made for this position. Not everyone can do what you do. You turned an unpleasant experience into a wonderful one.” The irony is that she made my day, too. Another time, I met a woman with advanced Parkinson’s disease. She couldn’t speak and used a letter board to communicate. I asked about her care and if she needed anything. As she replied, I wrote down each letter she pointed to on the board. It was a challenge, since I didn’t know when one word ended and another began! I really connected with her and was able to help her throughout her stay. I know I made a difference in her life – and she made one in mine.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I come to work every day with a purpose. When I’m able to address concerns, solve problems, and provide what patients, families, and staff need, I get a feeling of accomplishment. My parents were wonderful role models. My father was a New York City police officer and my mother was very involved in our church, often helping the elderly or handicapped. I’m an extension of my parents, filling a different role in caring for others. My goal is to ensure that people are happy when they leave the hospital. If I accomplish that, I know I’ve done my job well.
To learn more about our patient resources visit centrastate.com/patients or call 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).