Meet Jennifer Ryan a member of BEST’s patient concierge team serving patients and patient families at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
This year Jennifer was nominated for the hospital’s Making A Difference Award for her outstanding work to elevate patient satisfaction on the hospital’s A4 North and South units.
Traditionally the Making A Difference Award celebrates a Cincinnati Children’s employee, but Jennifer’s work as a Best Upon Request patient concierge was so outstanding she was placed in the running.
Why Jennifer Became a Concierge
Jennifer felt called to serve after successfully guiding her then six-year-old son, Philip, through a battle with an inoperative, malignant brain tumor. She’s taken her experience and wisdom as the parent of a critically ill child and put it to serve patients and their families at Cincinnati Children’s.
Q & A with Jennifer
Q: Jennifer, how did you become a patient concierge with BEST?
A: “A friend and former coworker from my airline career, Meredith Kelly, reached out regarding Best Upon Request. She’s familiar with customer service background and my passion for serving others.
Everything about the concierge position resonated with me. As I’ve grown with BEST it’s become clear how much this has allowed me the opportunity to pay it forward and has certainly given me the perspective for my attitude of gratitude.”
Q: Tell me about rounding work on the A4 unit.
A: “The A4 units focus on gastrointestinal diseases and organ transplants. My rounding focuses on the non-clinical needs of the patients and their families. I ease their mind of the stressors that get in the way of caring for their child. This may involve shopping for an item they left behind or delivering their favorite meal to their child’s room.
At times, I’m confronted with emotionally charged situations, and a simple smile or listening ear may be the kind of comfort they need the most in that moment. I’ve become very close to some of the patients and their families, and I’m thankful for the beautiful connections I’ve made.
On occasion, I receive follow up pictures and letters from patients and it warms my heart to know that BEST’s concierge service has made a difference in their care.”
Q: Is there a patient or family you’ve worked with that stands out?
A: “One of the first families I worked with was a married couple from New York and their son was extremely ill. After a few days in the hospital the husband’s business duties demanded his attention in New York and he was deeply concerned about leaving his wife and son.
The mother was fiercely protective of their son and her husband knew she would neglect her own needs— going all day without eating or leaving the hospital room..
Tearfully, he pleaded with me to look after them. I promised to make sure his wife had adequate meals and I would retrieve anything outside of the hospital she needed. A week after leaving for New York he called me saying, ‘Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of my wife. I truly feel so much better knowing the concierge service is there caring for my family!’
“For me that’s what it’s all about— helping patients and their families through a challenging time.”