Living our Values

Thank you to Patient Support Associate, Darren Hardeman for sharing this story from our Gilbert, AZ center with us. 

“I got a call today about an hour before the Gilbert Center was to close from the boyfriend of a lady who really needed help and soon. The patient was showing signs of heavy withdrawal and since the center was closing soon, I advised of the Emergency room if it is an emergency. They advised no emergency but that they would like to see what other options there are.

As such I called the Gilbert Center to find out what other options there might be. Dennis [Plunkett, Center Manager] answered the phone and when I told him about it and why I was calling he said he would like to find out if they could still come in. He asked me to find out how close they are to the center. In the meantime he would see if he could reach the provider still working and find if they would be able to be seen. 

When we got back on the phone together I advised per the boyfriend that they are 10 minutes away. Dennis responded although was unable to speak with the provider to ask them to come on in and they will try to see them. I advised them of this, collected basic contact info, let Dennis know, and they were on their way.” – Darren Hardeman, Patient Support Associate

The patient and her boyfriend ended up arriving at the center 15 minutes after closing time to find the entire team waiting to help.

Gilbert Center

“We extended the usual Gilbert Warm Welcome, got the important consents signed, then took her directly to the lab. I was finally able to speak with Dr. [Amir] Eissa, [Center Medical Director] while they were in-route, so he stayed after closing and was ready for her as soon as she completed her labs.  I sat in the lobby with the patient and her significant other while her initial urine dips were being processed and posted. I let her know her intake was a bit outside the normal routine, and didn’t want her to feel like she was being rushed through the process, but we recognized the importance of her seeing the provider.

She was clearly in physical and emotional distress at this point, so I reassured her we would do everything in our power to help her through this. Her significant other expressed gratitude that we all stayed to help her.  He reported that he ‘tried all day to get her in somewhere’ because she was ‘so bad off’, but no one would help them – until he called us. I thanked him for his kind words and told him this is what we do … She was able to see Dr. Eissa and left a short time after with her next appointment scheduled for this morning.

Pictured above: Left to Right (sitting) – Marissa Hall Care Coordinator, Marilyn Chavez, Medical Assistant
Back row standing left to right: Dennis Plunkett, Center Manager, Dr. Amir Eissa, Center Medical Director, Ray Hamilton Nurse Practitioner 

The entire time we were helping our new patient, I was thinking about our Core Values. I had been working this afternoon on our Culture Committee project to define the values in a way that made sense to us as we performed our day-to-day duties. I spent time working on ‘Respect and Compassion’ earlier and reflected on the impact our efforts tonight made on helping a fellow human in need.

A frightened and distressed young woman came to us today, desperately seeking hope. We may not consciously carry a ‘Core Value checklist’ around with us, yet when we – as a team – do the right thing for the right reason, those boxes all get checked anyway. If we were selling cars, the team would have patted each other on the back, congratulating ourselves for squeaking out one last deal at closing time. But we don’t sell cars and our mood was not one of self-important accomplishment, but rather of pride and privilege to have been chosen to serve.” – Dennis Plunkett, Gilbert, Center Manager

“I am still very moved by the compassion of the Gilbert team for their patients. My mind went back to the core values of Patients First, Together We Succeed, Respect and Compassion Always, and Everyday Innovation. They put the patient first, worked together with me and the patient, showed immense respect and compassion for the patient and boyfriend, and tried hard to accommodate their schedule to meet their difficult situation.” – Darren Hardeman

Thank you to Darren for sharing this story and working with the Gilbert team to ensure we got the patient the help she needed, and thank you to the Gilbert team for going above and beyond.  Your dedication to every patient you see embodies our mission and our values. You are all Warriors for Hope! 

Juliana Dalessandro

Juliana Dalessandro is the Manager of Organizational Culture & Engagement for CleanSlate, a leading national medical group that provides office-based outpatient medication treatment for the chronic disease of addiction, primarily alcohol and opioid use disorders.