As PPMC’s resilient staff members make their way to work for another challenging day in the COVID-19 era, it can be tough to shake off worries about the latest headlines or loved ones’ health. Renee Rice, Cassandra McDuffy, Shaunice McKnight, and Denise Santiago know this; that’s why they come in bright and early each day and ready to share warm greetings, campus updates, and even snacks.
In more “normal” circumstances, these compassionate Patient Access representatives welcome patients and work in admissions and registration. But for the past several weeks, they’ve been stationed at the hospital’s entrances to scan the temperature of every employee, patient, and caregiver. “The pandemic has required us to practice new skills and develop innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of our employees and community,” said Stacie Watkins, director of Patient Access and Business Operations. “Teamwork and perseverance can transform a challenge into something positive,” and she’s proud that her team can play such a vital role in safeguarding the hospital.
Rice has been at PPMC for 33 years, and while she has never experienced something quite as difficult as COVID-19 during her career, she continues to look for the good in every day. “I miss talking to patients at registration, but now I interact with coworkers I never had the chance to mingle with before. I thank them for coming in because a little bit of positivity can go far,” she said. “We’re all in this together, and it’s really rewarding to play my part.”