Nora Harmon knows good service. As a Lee Memorial Hospital volunteer with more than 14 years of experience, she has proudly served many patients, family members and visitors during her years with the health system. In February, Nora experienced the other side of care when she was a patient at Lee Memorial Hospital.
“I had surgery to repair my Achilles tendon,” Nora explains. “I was not concerned about the surgery as much as I was worried about returning home because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand or use my foot for six weeks. I knew Home Health and my rehabilitation nurses would be by to help, but I was impressed by the level of care I received from everyone—the nurses, social workers and doctors. Everyone was wonderful, and I really feel that I have to identify Jennifer James-Bass because of her kindness and caring attitude.”
Nora shares that Jennifer James-Bass, Guest Service Coordinator, helped her in ways she never would have imagined. “Along with arranging transportation from the hospital—with a stop at the pharmacy to have the driver pick up my prescription—Jennifer reached in her own pocket to give me the $10 I needed for my prescription co-pay. I’d left my purse and my wallet at home so I was grateful for her generosity.”
After arriving home, Nora says the driver made sure she was in the house safe and sound and made sure that her walker was close at hand. After she settled in, Jennifer’s was the first call she received. “She asked me if I needed anything or if I needed her to come over. She called me almost everyday. The communication between Jennifer, Home Health, rehabilitation and me was great. Their concern meant a lot and the care was phenomenal. I believe the surgery and my recovery went so well because of the care I received.”
Jennifer says it was a team effort, and support for the team comes from the top. “This is what we do—we serve the patients. It helps to have Lee Memorial Hospital Chief Administrative Officer Lisa Sgarlata as our boss because she exemplifies great customer service. She taught us and trusts us to make decisions that are best for the patients. It means a lot that Nora singled me out, but I was simply doing my job. And, with the $10, I just happened to be quicker on the draw. Carmen Miletti, our Medical Social Worker, reached in her pocket at the same exact time.”
Whether it was standard operating procedure or not, Nora believes that the compassion and kindness she received is innate in Jennifer and the others who cared for her while she was a patient. “People can’t act that way unless they are that way—you can’t turn that type of concern on and off,” Nora says.
Nora’s doctor cleared her last week and she returned to her volunteer post with an even greater appreciation for the talented professionals at Lee Memorial Hospital.
President, Lee Memorial Health System