When Chelsea Sanberg greets patients at Gateway Hancock Health, she brings 16 years of experience with her.
So Chelsea, one of Gateway’s health advocates, knows plenty about figuring out what most patients need—usually before they do. Sometimes patients seem lonely, sad, or afraid, so Sanberg offers reassurance, even the occasional shoulder to cry on. The complimentary coffee comes out if they look tired. And, for those who just want to get in and out quickly, she keeps the small talk to a minimum and moves them along quickly and efficiently.
“When I was in school, I was taught to treat every single person like they are a family member. So I’ve kept that with me,” she said. “No matter what kind of day I’m having, I try to remember that.”
We wanted to know more about Chelsea and her philosophy of patient care, so she answered a few questions:
Q: Why is it so important to you to give your patients emotional support along with the health care they need?
A: Seeking medical care can be scary and, no matter how pretty a medical building is (Gateway is beautiful), it can feel overwhelming to some. I like to be the person who helps and prepares them for their procedure. I like to make sure they understand we’re here to help, and we’ll do anything we can to put them on the road to recovery.
Q: In addition to your role as a health advocate, you’re also an X-ray technician at Gateway. Is wearing both hats difficult?
A: It makes for busy days, but I like the variety. I tend to know whether I’m going to be at the front desk as a health advocate or in imaging. Some days I’m both. I just try to help the flow of patients and keep the clinic moving efficiently.
Q: Which imaging services can people get at Gateway?
A: X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and ultrasound.
Q: With your experience, you could work at a lot of different places. Why Gateway Hancock Health?
A: I love the Hancock system’s attention to patients and care. Steve Long (president and CEO of Hancock Health) always talks about what a blessing it is to care for people. That’s something that matches my morals and how I go about my daily life. Gateway is close to my home, too, but even if it was farther away, it would be worth the drive.
Q: Gateway is a gorgeous building. What’s your favorite part of it?
A: The big, open lobby! Being someone who has done imaging for so long, you tend to get stuck in basements. So to have these gorgeous windows and have that sunlight coming through, even on a cloudy day, it’s just nice to have that bit of nature in my day.
Q: Who is your least favorite Grouchie, and how does Gateway keep him away?
A: It’s a combination between Squeezix and Skwibble because no one wants to get a bunch of big bills they don’t understand from their healthcare system. At Gateway, we avoid that by offering estimates upfront and then sending patients one bill per visit. That way they aren’t getting separate bills for labs and imaging, for example. When patients start getting multiple bills, they start questioning, “Where does it end?”
Q: What does the future hold for you?
A: I used to be an assistant teacher in the X-ray program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and I’d like to get back into that. I’d like to teach others about imaging and patient care.
Chelsea is one member of a committed staff of health advocates, nurses, and doctors, working together to ensure every patient who comes to Gateway receives expert care along with great service. If you’re already headed to Gateway, don’t forget to Save Your Spot in line by signing in online. To learn more, visit Hancockgateway.org.