A Dynamic Duo

It is my pleasure to announce that we have two new faces in our Patient Services department. In the short time they have been with us, Harriet Patterson and Kayley Harrington have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to LLS’s mission and the patients we serve.

Both ladies have graciously allowed me to shine the spotlight on them. So without further ado, here’s a little “get to know you” Q & A with our fantastic Patient Services duo.

Harriet Patterson, MPH

Patient Services Manager

When did you join the LLS family?
About 6 months ago.  Before that, I worked for eight years as the Director of Patient Services for a brain cancer organization.

What do you do as a part of your work in Patient Services?
I speak with patients and families  who are affected by cancer and help them find resources. I plan educational programs for patients, families, and health professionals like our upcoming Emerging Therapies conference which we have each January. I do outreach to health professionals to make sure they know about our services so that patients find our services when they need us.  I recruit and train new volunteers. I help connect newly diagnosed patients to peer support volunteers on our First Connection program. 

What else do you do at LLS?
I work with all of the fundraising programs (like Team In Training, Light The Night, School & Youth) to make sure patient services is present at events with information and that people who are a part of LLS understand the patient and family experience.  It is great to be a part of an organization with so many dedicated and passionate people.  I am inspired every day by my colleagues!

What do you like best about your job?
I am always learning—about cancer, about the needs patients have, about resources in our community—and that is a great part of the job.  I love feeling that I have helped someone at the end of the day, whether to better understand their diagnosis, provide some financial assistance or connect them with a First Connection peer support volunteer.  Cancer is scary and it can be a real struggle some days—it is gratifying to be able to offer some help to someone going through that, even if just for a short while.

What do you do for fun?
My husband and I love to take weekend and day trips around Northern California.  I enjoy walking and hiking, exploring small towns, writing and taking photographs, trying new restaurants and spending time with friends and family.  When I’m at home, I love spending time with our cat, Biscuit.

Kayley Harrington, MSW, MPH

Community Outreach Manager, Patient Services

When did you join the LLS family?
The end of October, 2011

What do you do as a part of your work in Patient Services?
As Community Outreach Manager, I am often out and about in the community letting people know what services we have for blood cancer patients.  I do a lot of outreach visits to hospitals, treatment centers, and doctors’ offices and attend a lot of meetings with nurses and social workers.  I want to ensure they know what programs we have for patients and how to get them connected to us.  I also want to understand how patients move through the health care system and where we can continue to support them. 

I also work with patients and their families and caregivers, providing resources and referrals for their particular needs.  I love visiting our support groups and meeting patients and the amazing nurses and social workers that provide support.  I help connect patients to long-term survivors through our First Connection program.  I attend and help plan educational events throughout the Bay Area and Northern California that meet the needs of our patient population. 

I have a passion for health equity and social justice.  I will be working on our outreach to underserved communities throughout our chapter area through strong partnerships and coalitions with other health organizations.

What else do you do at LLS?
As a new member of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, I am still learning about all of the amazing activities within LLS and where Patient Services can partner.  I work out of both of our offices in San Francisco and the Redwood/Wine Country in Santa Rosa, so it has been great to get to know the communities in both spaces.  I will be helping lead a chapter wide volunteer appreciation event this Spring and working on a picnic in recognition of all of our chapter’s honorees.  I am helping plan the upcoming Emerging Therapies conference on January 21, and I will be involved in future educational events as well. 

What do you like best about your job?
Knowing that my job has a positive impact on people while they are going through one of the biggest challenges of their lives: a cancer diagnosis.  I have been a caregiver for family members with cancer, and I know first hand the challenges and struggles that individuals and their families have to deal with.  To be able to provide support and guidance through this difficult time for others is deeply rewarding. 

What do you like to do for fun?
I love to take advantage of everything the Bay Area has to offer, from being outside in nature and going on hikes to eating at a great local restaurant to listening to live music.  I love to work out, read, and cook.  Spending time with my friends and family is one of the most important parts of my life.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) offers a variety of services to blood cancer patients and their families including support groups, education programs, financial assistance and the First Connection program that connects newly diagnosed patients with volunteers of a similar diagnosis. Health professionals are also available to patients through LLS’s Information Resource Center (IRC) at (800) 955-4572.

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About Megan Kilkenny

LLS Sr. Director, Marketing Communication Team In Training Alum Three-time Nike Women's Half Marathon finisher
This entry was posted in General SF Chapter, Patient Services and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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