Making a Difference One Patient at a Time
MHN ACO Spotlight | Lizette Martinez
Some patients feel like clinics are their second homes. Lizette Martinez, care coordinator at Alivio Medical Center, has seen this first-hand and knows how engaging with patients can make a difference in their lives – and their health.
“I like the fact that I bring awareness about testing and health and also ease people’s anxiety. It’s satisfying to see patients leave with smiles on their faces.”
Lizette recently made a big difference in the life of a homeless patient with epilepsy who was in very poor health. The patient would constantly miss his appointments because the seizures caused him to forget about them. Lizette started to call and remind him about his appointments so he could get the care he needed. The patient was extremely grateful and now calls her when he has a question or concern. “I’m happy to offer any extra support a patient needs to get healthy,” says Lizette.
Although Lizette has been a care coordinator for only one year, she began her career as a community health worker 15 years ago. She started as a peer support counselor where she did follow-ups with her caseload. This experience naturally transferred to the care coordinator role.
“Since care coordinators are often from the community, our role is to build long-lasting relationships with patients,” says Lizette. “I am Latino and 90% of our patients at Alivio are Latino. Because we come from similar backgrounds, patients feel comfortable with me and will more likely return to the clinic for help.”
Lizette notes that some of the most important ways to build trust with a patient are to actively listen, ask open-ended questions and become a trusted ally.
“If you have a passion for helping others you should do it. Making a difference in people’s lives is the most important thing anyone can do.”
It’s clear Lizette is following her passion – and doing it very well.