When WellMed care advocate Leticia Gonzalez made her weekly call to kidney patient Esther Barnett, she was surprised to hear her crying and frightened. Two flat tires left Esther stranded on a Dallas-area highway. To make matters worse, she did not have her purse or credit cards with her. Thank goodness, she had her phone. She called her daughter and was waiting for her to arrive.
“I asked if she had AAA,” Leticia said. “She does, but didn’t have the phone number.” She promptly looked up the phone number and had Esther call them.
Leticia stayed on the phone with Esther while they waited. As cars continued to zoom past, Esther became anxious again. “Leticia kept calming me down by having me take deep breaths,” Esther said. “She was so reassuring. She kept saying, ‘We’re going to take care of this.’”
Gradually, Esther became calmer. When the tow truck and her daughter arrived, they towed the car to a nearby tire shop to have it repaired. Later that evening, Leticia called Esther to see how she was doing, and was happy to learn she was feeling better.
As a care advocate, Leticia serves as a liaison between clinicians and their patients. She calls patients to ensure they have what they need after they are discharged from the hospital, such as groceries, oxygen, medical equipment and medications. Her goal is to help keep patients as healthy as possible so they do not have to be re-admitted to the hospital.
Leticia, who has worked as a care advocate for nearly two years, enjoys talking to patients. “I don’t do this for fame or fortune. I don’t have grandparents. My patients are like my grandparents.”
The feelings and rewards are often mutual. Many patients appreciate her calls and often just want to talk to someone.
“Leticia is so warm and friendly. Sometimes she’ll just say, ‘Talk to me,’ ” Esther said. “She’s like a member of my family. It’s God’s way of sending me my angel. I’m so thankful for her.”
Interested in learning more about WellMed? We are happy to help. Please contact our Patient Advocate team today.
Call: 1-888-781-WELL (9355)
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Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm CST.
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