Employee Spotlight: Sherry Phillips
This summer, the Heart Center experienced an unprecedented level of clinical activity. More families than ever before came from faraway states to receive care here, which meant heightened patient complexity and increased demand for facility and human resources.
For Sherry Phillips, the Heart Center’s out-of-region patient coordinator, this meant it was a busy spring. “Many families want to book their child’s procedures or work-ups during school vacation,” she explains, “so communication is initiated months in advance.”
Phillips serves as a contact and guide for patients and families traveling from outside New England for their appointments at Boston Children’s. From initial curiosity about our services to booking complex interventions, Phillips is there to connect these families with the resources and answers they need.
Out-of-region patients have a host of unique concerns. Housing and accommodation requests, family medical leave authorizations and insurance coverage questions are just a few examples. “I like to anticipate potential obstacles,” Phillips says, “so that by the time the family is traveling here, we are fully prepared to give them the attention and care they need without added burdens.”
Many families come to Boston Children’s because their child has a rare and complex condition that needs a treatment only offered here. Such cases often require coordination among multiple departments. Phillips regularly communicates with other specialty centers within Boston Children’s to ensure that records are received and shared efficiently and appointments are coordinated with the family’s schedule in mind. “Rushing to obtain prior records or insurance authorizations once a patient has arrived is not ideal, and I work to minimize those issues,” adds Phillips, who also works closely with our concierge services, the Center for Families and Patient Financial Services.
The personal touch of Phillips’ assistance is emblematic of the Heart Center. Over the years, her role has shifted as the Heart Center added more administrative coordinators to accommodate growing patient volume. Being able to focus on a particular cohort of patients with a particular set of needs has allowed Phillips to consistently ensure a supportive hospital experience for families traveling long distances for care.