Sentara Leigh Hospital’s Patient Advocate Maureen Haines is the ACE Award Grand Prize Winner for the July – December 2012 awards.

Hospital patient advocate cracks a mystery

Patient advocates ensure our patients and their families have the very best experience while under the care of Sentara Healthcare professionals. Patient advocates run interference, pitch hit, power pitch, and are team players. If Maureen played professional sports, she’d be dubbed the “best all around” player.

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Maureen has been with Sentara Leigh Hospital for 11 years. Seven of those years she has been the patient advocate. “Every day is different here,” Maureen said.

Every day is different

Checking her records, she said that she followed up on 462 major complaints last year. “I handle a lot from hand holding to finding relatives,” she noted. She comforts patients, family members and has the patience of Job. She often stays after hours providing a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Maureen coordinated ten special events in December 2012 to bring a little joy to the patients, their families and to hospital staff. She loves her job.9 Maureen Haines_slide

Rick Waters, manager of customer operations and Maureen’s supervisor said, “One of the many compliments we receive from physicians regarding Maureen is the extraordinary time she spends with family members of patients to ensure they stay informed and involved.”  Rick also notes, in his ACE Award nomination, that Maureen is routinely invited to patient family meetings where she balances her time acting as an interpreter . . . ensuring family members hear what is actually being discussed. Quite a testament to a job well done.

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(L-R) Hospital risk manager Cathy Lahouchuc, talks with Maureen Haines at Sentara Leigh Hospital.

Sometimes  she’s a detective

But, I bet you didn’t know that this particular patient advocate is a detective, too.

Maureen “Monk” Haines had to pull on her sleuthing hat back in the fall of 2012 and made a miracle happen.

“We had a critically ill patient in the intensive care unit. I think he was isolated from his family,” said Maureen. The patient knew he was dying and asked if she would contact his daughter.

The patient then told Maureen he had not spoken to his daughter in 30 years and  he didn’t have any idea where she was.

“He wanted me to tell her he was sorry,” Maureen said reflecting on that day. The patient’s last name was rather unusual, so Maureen latched on to that clue. Remembering a long-retired Sentara Leigh Hospital employee with the same name, she began her search there. She tracked down the retiree’s telephone number (the retiree happened to be a relative of the patient) and used Facebook to locate the patient’s daughter who was living in Texas. The patient’s daughter hurriedly made the trip to Sentara Leigh to see her father.

He passed away two days later. Needless to say the patient’s daughter and other family were appreciative of her efforts to bring them all together.

Congratulations, Maureen Haines for being the ACE Awards (July – December 2012) Grand Prize Winner.

Thank you for your commitment to excellent customer service.