Pamela-Jean Berkheiser, Administrative Director for Ambulatory Practice
When it became apparent that many clinical areas would need to be relocated due to COVID-19, Pamela-Jean Berkheiser had been in her role as Administrative Director for Ambulatory Practice at Smilow Cancer Hospital for less than a year.
Overseeing front desk staff, medical assistants, clinical operations managers, and administrative staff, meant that a lot of coordination was needed to make sure her staff members received the resources they needed, while also working to transition patient care from the main hospital to the Smilow Care Centers, and now back again. With two of the three floors currently transitioned back to the main hospital, Pamela has focused on making sure that patients and staff remain safe. She commented that her main concern now is making sure the waiting areas are not crowded, and that requires balancing the number of patients that can be seen per hour to maintain social distancing with the number of staff and providers.
"With many staff members still working remotely, we are spread across more locations now. Our main goal is to maintain patient care, while keeping everyone safe," said Pamela. "My staff had to move very quickly to make all of this happen, and every patient had to be called to convert to Telehealth. I am so proud of all of their hard work."
During her career, Pamela has worked in practically every medical setting from private practice to the hospital setting, and has carried experiences from each with her. "We are not caregivers, but are helping patients in other ways. If we can do something to make their day better while they are going through a challenging time, I see that as my contribution. And I am certain that my staff feels the same way," said Pamela.