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Margaret Lewis, PCA, Derby

In her role as a Patient Care Associate (PCA), Margaret (Maggie) Lewis has the honor of meeting with every patient cared for at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in Derby, and she is often the first person they meet. Maggie works closely with patients and their families from their very first visit and throughout their care to make sure they are comfortable, and helps to manage any issues that may arise.

"Many patients come in and are very scared and don't know what to expect," said Maggie. "I try to ease their mind and serve as their point person if they have any questions during their care. Sometimes patients or family members are more comfortable discussing something with me, that I can then bring up with their physician. It's important to get to know each patient and make sure everyone is in constant communication. When a patient leaves with a smile on their face, I know I have done my job."

Maggie enjoys the smaller setting of the Care Center, but commented that not much would change if she were seeing patients in a larger facility; after that first visit, all patients become family. She is currently pursuing her nursing degree, and recently received a Smilow PCA Educational Grant and the 2014 Nurses Choice Award.

Susan Hanrahan, RN, Nurse Coordinator at the Derby Care Center, commented, "Maggie is someone who puts the patient first at all times and is very down to earth and friendly. She has the unique ability to make anyone feel comfortable and connect with anyone. She is very intuitive in her work."