Senior Front Desk Coordinator, Penn Transplant Institute

Danny Santos Penn Transplant Team

“I’ve been at Penn for 24 years and with Transplant for 19 of those years. I run the front office of the outpatient clinic, so I get to know all the patients pretty well. I see them before transplant when they’re very sick. Lung patients who are on oxygen, kidney patients who are wheelchair bound. I also get to see their transformation after transplant, walking around, chipper, full of life. It’s awesome.

I interact with our patients a lot when they’re here. There’s the business side of things – registering them when they arrive, insurance updates, scheduling follow-up testing. But we also end up talking about all kinds of things and get to know each other personally. Some of our patients I’ve known the entire time I’ve been here. We’ve become friends.

The COVID-19 pandemic led us to do some things differently, like more use of telemedicine. But the transplant programs always remained operational during the pandemic, and we still see patients in the office. This is a time when it’s more important than ever for them to hear a friendly voice on the phone or see a friendly face at the office.

It really touches me when I’m invited to the holiday parties the team holds for their patients. I try to attend them each year so I can talk to our patients, let our hair down, or pick up on a conversation we had in the office. Sometimes I’m also invited to memorial services. The families reach out to me because their dad or mom would always talk about me. To receive those invitations is humbling.

I remind my staff that everyone who comes here is sick. It’s our job to provide good service, but our patients are scared so we’re also here to offer a smile or create a comforting feeling. I always try to do the best I can in the role I’m in. Our whole team does a great job and I’m proud to be a part of that."

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