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“I love problem solving,” says Becky Downing. “I love being an advocate and a voice for our patients and families.”
That makes her new job as patient relations coordinator at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital a perfect fit.
Each day she visits patients and families, introducing herself and making sure that each patient is getting the quality service he or she deserves. “If not, I can be the connector — making sure problems get fixed and concerns are addressed before they leave the hospital.”
“When I go into a room, I hope there are no problems. If there are concerns, I love being able to address them and solve them. That’s what I like to do.”
Often the issues are easy to address — finding out why discharge is being delayed or what’s available for parents at Ronald McDonald House or letting a hospitalized mom know how her baby is doing in the NICU.
She finds the doctor or nurse who has the answer and brings the information back to the patients, so they have one more assurance that the staff cares.
Oftentimes, when the nurse checks in on patients, they say they’re doing fine. Later, they think of questions, Downing says.
“Usually it’s something I can’t answer, but I can run down the answer. I can go back and say, ‘I talked to the nurse and she’s working on it.’ I’m a conduit that keeps information flowing.”
Downing’s own connection to CW began nine years ago, when her daughter, Ella, was born eight weeks early, and started life with a month in the NICU at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital.
So grateful was Downing that she wanted to devote herself to assisting the hospital, “but working retail at that time prevented me from volunteering,” she recalls.
Then a job opened managing the hospital’s gift shop and Downing jumped at the chance. She has worked there more than four years now.
It’s hard to leave the gift shop, she says, but after 20 years in retail, she was ready for a new challenge. This works, she says, because it uses the same customer service skills that she honed in retail.
She is especially glad to be able to play this new role without leaving the USA family.
A Mobile native, Downing is a graduate of Baker High School and Auburn University. She and her husband, Russ, have one daughter, Ella, now nine years old.
In addition to her career at CW, she is active with Caring Crew, a group of employees who work together volunteering at projects like the Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Camp Rap-A-Hope and Camp Smile.
“We like to help organizations that impact us, our patients and their families,” Downing says.
About USA Children's & Women's Hospital
The University of South Alabama Children's & Women's Hospital is among a handful of freestanding hospitals in the United States dedicated specifically to the health care needs of children and women. USACWH health care professionals are uniquely qualified and equipped to provide a wide range of therapeutic and surgical services for children and women, be it life-threatening illness, traumatic injury, premature birth or high-risk obstetrical and gynecological needs.
USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is the Mobile area’s leading provider of health services for newborn babies and their mothers. The Labor & Delivery Unit successfully delivers more than 2,800 babies each year, an average of five to 15 babies each day, which is twice as many births as any other hospital in Mobile. The unit also features 15 private birthing suites promoting family-centered care and three operating rooms for cesarean section deliveries and other obstetric procedures.
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