This week the Southern Coos Health Foundation, Southern Coos Hospital, and the community celebrate the fourteenth and final Community Lights, Cari George, Amber Heisen, Hannah Bailey, and Kenia Whittaker, who make up the front office staff at South West Internal Medicine.
The group was nominated for “being consistently positive and full of good humor,” officials said. “The front office staff always remembers your name, what you need, and why you’re there. They have made coming to the doctor’s office during COVID less scary.”
In short, the front office team at South West Internal Medicine is dedicated to their community, their patients, and their team.
When 2020 began, the team at South West Internal Medicine knew there would be changes, but they could never have anticipated the full scope of what this year would have in store. Not only did South West Internal Medicine move its office from Coquille to Bandon, they like the rest of us, have had to adapt to the changes that COVID-19 has brought.
“We are doing everything we can as far as sanitizing and cleaning, and mask wearing and social distancing. You know it’s understandable that [patients] are scared but we want to make sure that they are staying healthy throughout this and not leaving things swept under the rug just because of that fear. Hopefully, they want to still come in and we definitely want to see them,” Whittaker said.
“Even if [patients] just have questions, we can generally help them a lot over the phone too,” added Heisen. “If they’re apprehensive about something or have questions about lab work or medications, we’re just a phone call away.”
So how do they keep their spirits up in the face of change and a pandemic?
According to Bailey, “[We] all just work very well together as a team. We’ve been together for years, been with Dr. Crane for years. He’s a great leader to all of us. And we just hope to pass that positivity along to our patients.”
Even just walking into the building it’s easy to see that this team not only gets along well with each other, but that they put patient care and safety first.
“Dr. Crane is very much patient care comes first, it is always the patient that comes first,” added Whittacker, “he has always just incorporated that into the entire office. Yes, we have fun and yes, we want to be here, and it’s just easy [to keep positive] with this team. We try to keep to the positive as much as we can.”
George summed it up with “We love all of our patients sick or healthy.”
Making up this team are George, who has been with Dr. Crane for four years and is a Bandon lifer, who grew up and raised a family in Bandon. For her, the best part about Bandon is the ocean.
Bailey, a mom of four boys, who was born and raised in Coos County, has been with Dr. Crane for 13 years. For Hannah, “it has been really positive bringing our practice to Bandon. Everyone has been really receptive, they are excited to have Dr. Crane and the office here. Overall, it has just been a positive experience.”
Whittacker, a mom of two young kids, is busy being a mom when she isn’t at the office where she has worked for the last 7 years. Though not from here originally, she has lived in Myrtle Point for the last 16 years. “Bandon has been great, a bit of a drive from Myrtle Point, but not bad. Everyone has been super, this has been a nice fresh start and the people of Bandon have been great.”
And, the newest member to the team, Heisen, who grew up in Coos County, and likes the beach and everything outdoors. Amber has worked for Dr. Crane for two years.
To learn more about South West Internal Medicine, its incredible front desk staff, and/or to make an appointment to see Dr. Crane, call 541.329.0144.
Thank you for joining us this summer as we rallied around a theme of “Bandon Together” and “Community Resilience” and spotlighted a handful of our community members who represent a light in the community.