Employees Jump Into New Roles to Help Cedars-Sinai
Dec 10, 2020 Cedars-Sinai Staff
Meet Terance Imbert
Terance jumped into his new role with gusto when he was called on early this summer to join the Cedars-Sinai Employee Resource Bank and serve as a COVID-19 health screener.
It has pulled him away one or two days a week from his usual role as an executive assistant in the revenue cycle office, but Terance's morale has never lagged.
Stationed by the Plaza Café, Terance helps process many of the nearly 3,000 employees who enter the medical center every day. He's developed a reputation as a world-class greeter with a great memory for names and someone who welcomes employees with smiles and friendly banter.
"I'm trying to brighten up their day," says Terance, a 14-year Cedars-Sinai veteran.
Terance is one of the 400-plus Cedars-Sinai staffers currently in the Employee Resource Bank, or ERB, an internal temporary employment service set up in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One key ERB task is to deploy people like Terance to hand out masks and conduct COVID-19 screenings of close to 11,000 people—including patients, visitors, employees, volunteers and vendors—entering 17 Cedars-Sinai buildings daily.
The ERB also provides staff for Cedars-Sinai's drive-through COVID-19 testing site as well as for other duties.
"We are proud to contribute to critically important initiatives. One of our team's strengths is the scheduling of hundreds of resources into many shifts at the medical center, and this is another wonderful way to help Cedars-Sinai and our community."
The opportunity to team up with new people from around the organization has been an attraction for many ERB staffers and site managers.
"You've got employees from every single department in this one giant group that's assigned to this role," says Tiyana Hossain, a project manager for professional and support services who manages most of the COVID-19 screening sites. "I've gotten to know a ton of amazing employees on campus that I would not have gotten to meet before."
Terance is one of those employees. Tiyana credits him with bringing
"great energy and enthusiasm" to his duties.
"He's always providing a helping hand," she says.
Terance says his outlook on the ERB duty "was if I am still able to work, and I'm able to do something that's going to contribute to the hospital and that's going to help other people continue to work as well, I might as well do my part.
"There's no reason to complain when it's benefiting everyone. Cedars-Sinai has been good to me, so I've been loyal back to Cedars-Sinai."
Meet Joseph Goldstein
Joseph, an exercise physiologist at Cedars-Sinai for 20 years, expresses similar sentiments. His ERB role, as a COVID-19 screener for patients, provided a welcome opportunity to return to work after four months on medical leave.
Joseph was struck last Christmas by a driver who lost control of her car while Joseph was about to get into his own vehicle. He still is recovering from extensive injuries to his right leg and remains unable to return to his regular duties.
That, Joseph says, has made him "very thankful" for the five-day-a-week ERB role that he has held since late April.
He also enjoys the bonds he has formed with many co-workers he had never met before. Most serve with Goldstein just a day or two a week, but he says each day the group seems like its own separate family.
Joseph embraces the patient education aspect of the job, including advising patients who resist wearing masks about the importance of the face coverings.
In addition, he is very gratified by the appreciation expressed by patients about the work he and his fellow screeners perform. In all, "99% of the people coming in are thankful that we're here. If they don't say 'thank you' when they enter, they say 'thank you' when they leave and that 'it's made me feel better. It's made me feel safer.'"
Rocio Trujillo regards her one ERB day a week—she's on the same team as Joseph as a patient screener—as an opportunity rather than a burden.
Meet Rocio Trujillo
Rocio, a senior administrative assistant in the labor relations section of the human resources department, still is relatively new at Cedars-Sinai, having passed her one-year anniversary in August. In her ERB role, Rocio says, she enjoys the opportunity to learn more about the organization.
Beyond that, Rocio regards her ERB work as a form of community service. Ever since her teenage years growing up in East Los Angeles, Rocio has always made community service part of her life.
She started volunteering at the age of 14 at the Doheny Eye Institute. Later on, Rocio mentored students at a Boys and Girls Club. While holding down jobs and working on her degree at UCLA, Rocio also led and participated in service projects through the Community Programs Office.
At her entrance table, where she asks patients about whether they have any COVID-19 symptoms, she uses what she calls her "bubbly" personality to calm patients who may be nervous or stressed.
"I love to do it because I love to make patients feel better and welcome. I feel like I'm part of the bigger picture and part of something great that's being done here at Cedars-Sinai."
In fact, after her ERB stint ends, Rocio hopes to do more community work through Cedars-Sinai. "I'm just excited for what's to come," she says. "Even amid this crisis, we have to keep moving forward."