Michelle Martin, Senior Administrative Assistant, Advanced Cardiac Therapies

Everywhere she goes, Michelle Martin has her camera with her. “I love photography, and I’ve taken some courses in it,” she says. “I like always being prepared to capture a special moment and keep that memory.” And in her 10 years at the Heart Center, she’s certainly made plenty of memories.

Martin started working at Boston Children’s Hospital in December 2005, and has since split her time almost equally between the cardiac catheterization lab, the echocardiography department and the Advanced Cardiac Therapies group. “When I joined, it was called Heart Transplant/Heart Failure,” she explains. “But in the past couple of years, we’ve shifted to calling it Advanced Cardiac Therapies, because we also include things like the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Programand the Cardiac Anticoagulation Monitoring Program (CAMP).”

Martin is known for bringing passion, dedication, efficiency and a personal touch to everything she does.  As a senior administrative assistant for the Advanced Cardiac Therapies group, she splits her time between program development and clinic prep/scheduling appointments.

“For three days a week, I’m focused on program development,” says Martin. “That means looking for ways to improve the program overall and increasing our efficiency however we can.” Last year, she worked with Elizabeth Blume, MD, and one of the program’s nurses, Heather Bastardi, on a proposal to hire more nurses. Martin also helped launch and implement Cardiology Grand Rounds, along with Blume, and helped plan the 2016 International Pediatric VAD Summit. “That was my favorite project,” she says. “I loved meeting people from all over.”

VanderPluym, Beth Hawkins, NP, and Martin were all members of the VAD Summit planning committee.

Martin says that throughout the years, she’s enjoyed getting to know patients and their families quite well.

“Parents call here when they’re in a state of worry,” she says. “I’m typically the first person they talk to when their kid needs a transplant, and I get that whole process going. And, then they come in pretty frequently for a few months, so we can spend a lot of time on the phone together. Those phone calls to book appointments can turn into mini therapy sessions. Sometimes, parents will call me when they arrive in clinic, so I can come down and say hi, which I love!”

With program development in mind, she wants to build that relationship into their workflow more organically. “Maybe there’s a regular time, such as biopsy day (transplant patients come in for regular biopsies), that the admin can meet with the family and put a face to the voice on the phone. She can go over things and build further on the relationship we already have.”

While many of her contemporaries spent their 20s jumping from job to job, Martin says she’s never thought of leaving.

“I have never gone home and questioned what I do,” she says. “Because even on the busiest days, in the midst of complete chaos, we’re all here to make sure the patients and their families have the best possible experience and outcome.”