The School of Dentistry’s patient care coordinators (PCCs) include six team members who work on the adult clinic floor and three interpreters in the Department of Pediatrics.
PCCs work closely with each student, making sure the students’ schedules are as full as possible and requirements are being met. They also answer patient calls and schedule accordingly, as well as perform many other duties.
The PCC team is highly skilled, and the members all have friendly, caring and empathetic yet strong personalities. Each have their own strengths in different areas, and their strengths complement one another’s.
Each PCC is assigned up to 40 students. They ensure that each student has a schedule full of a wide variety of experiences and interactions. They regularly connect with their Patient Management Advisors (PMA), to make sure each student is on track to graduate by assigning matching patient needs to the correct student.
The dental clinic checks in up to 150 patients per session, with seven sessions per week. PCCs answer from 7,000 to 10,000 calls per month, including scheduling, rescheduling and confirming appointments. They give directions, listen empathetically to patients in pain (anyone in pain is not in the best of moods), and schedule patients at first availability. They actively listen to the patients to determine what department would best serve them. At times, they must be creative in scheduling to maximize chair usage with student skill, which at times, is no easy task. Matching a student up with a patient and faculty member in a certain chair is a challenge to say the least, but the team makes it look easy.
As in any private practice, the success of the practice is only as strong as the people scheduling the appointments. PCC team members are dedicated to the success of each student and patient, and therefore are dedicated to answering incoming calls in a timely manner to keep the flow of the clinic floor running efficiently. The entire patient services group is equally as dedicated, and all work closely together.
The team is mission-oriented and works for and with others. Each PCC treats students, patients, faculty and peers with dignity and respect. PCCs welcome diversity. When faced with a change or a challenge, they openly discuss with each other the issues and come to a reasonable conclusion. They attribute their success to the amazing leadership and support that enables them to “think outside of the box” and problem solve together.
Some people may assume that the PCC team is “just a call center,” but in reality, there are many time-specific duties and many demands on PCCs’ time, and they accomplish all with determination and a friendly smile.
Meet the Team:
CarrieAnn Holte is the patient care coordinator supervisor; she joined Creighton one year ago. She has a strong background in training, management, customer service and sales, and her dental background is primarily in dentures and implants. Most recently, she was a traveling dental assistant trainer for a large dental support organization that focuses on dentures and implants. She is thankful for that opportunity because it brought her to the School of Dentistry.
Connie Aliano has been with Creighton for more than 30 years in different capacities, and has been a PCC for the past five years. She has outstanding customer service skills both with her students as well as patients.
Michaela Hawley has been a PCC for eight years. Hawley is especially good at keeping her team organized and on target for graduation requirements. She likes to bring baked goodies to her team members, and it is obvious that they all appreciate her caring manner.
Cindy Martinez has been with Creighton for five years. She started at the front desk and transitioned to a being a PCC about two years ago. She is our only bilingual Spanish-speaking PCC. She takes all the Spanish calls for existing patients as well as calls coming in from the main line. Her patience in any situation is commendable.
Carrie Rogers has been a PCC for just a few months. Rogers has a strong background in patient care and customer service and has picked up her duties quickly, getting the tasks at hand done quickly and efficiently.
Sarah Rudiger has been a PCC for two months. Rudiger has a strong background in patient care and customer service. She looks forward to being introduced to the full clinic team when we are in full service this month. She has a caring heart and is eager to get her team organized and on point for requirements.
Rinda Brown was a PCC for many years and is now the clinic coordinator. Brown is a great asset to the PCC team with her knowledge of the clinic and how things run. She is always stepping up to help in any department and is appreciated for all she does for the PCC team.
The interpreters in the Department of Pediatrics are Fatuma Mohamed, who works with Somali families; Yo La, who works with Karen families; and Shikhar Shrestha, who works with Napoli families. They are responsible for scheduling young patients and interpreting between the parents and the students, faculty and staff. They help the front desk assistant answer calls and schedule appointments coming in from the main line.
Recently two PCCs retired after more than 20 years of service each (Jane Neneman and Cindy Hall). They leave a legacy of vast experience and knowledge that will be greatly missed by both students and the team.