Faces of Cedars-Sinai: Patient Services Representative Ted Marbury
Dec 13, 2019 Cedars-Sinai Staff
Trying to start a new family is an exciting and often stressful time.
Ted Marbury, a patient services representative, gets that.
He opens the office daily at Cedars-Sinai's Fertility and Reproductive Medicine Center, making sure enough staff members are scheduled to come in. He fills all the printers with paper, turns on the lights, orders supplies, and makes the schedule for the day.
"It's not rocket science. It's just being a kind individual when someone's going through a trying time."
Then he makes sure that patients have all the follow-up appointments they need, organizes their charts, and helps sort out their insurance and payment.
But to Ted it's more than a list of tasks. Here he shares what he's learned about helping people since he came to Cedars-Sinai in 1991 and how he unwinds when he's not at work.
How do you help put people at ease when they're going through such an emotional experience?
Ted Marbury: There's a lot that goes on with patients, and sometimes they're coming in 3 or 4 times a week for ultrasounds and blood work. They have to do injections.
Sometimes they have to wait before they can proceed to the next step. It's a lot of stress on somebody, basically. And you just want to be as kind as possible.
Just say, "Good morning. How are you doing? Have you eaten? Can I get you anything?"
We get to know them. I know their names, talk about their day, what they have coming up this week, their holidays, families. I get to know a lot of these families and what they're going through.
It's not rocket science. It's just being a kind individual when someone's going through a trying time.
How did your career at Cedars-Sinai begin?
TM: I was an apprentice for a barber in Beverly Hills. I studied under this barber for 5 years and never finished Hollywood Barber College because I had such a good position there. I became the manager. Then, they sold the salon and a friend of mine who worked at Cedars-Sinai suggested I fill out an application.
I started in the temp pool in 1991 and have been here ever since. I had some permanent positions, such as working in the transplant department, mostly with pediatric patients.
When a position in the fertility program opened up, they contacted me. Now I get to help people who are starting their families.
Are you originally from Los Angeles?
TM: I was born in Birmingham, Alabama.
Then I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where my sister lives, and it was just freezing there. So I moved out to California with a girlfriend in 1973, and it's been my home ever since.
California's just been my life. I love it.
What do you do for fun?
TM: I live in Silver Lake, and I love my area because you can walk around to get to and from theaters and movie houses and eateries.
It's really nice. Los Feliz 3 is my favorite movie theater because it's local—I can walk there and get my exercise in and entertain myself at the same time.
I also like the gym. I used to go dancing a lot.
I help my neighbor with her sewing. She has a dancewear company and she lets me help her lay out and cut fabric for unitards—leotards for some of the big shows here.
I also just came back from Italy. I learned to make ravioli. I went with a group from my church—Saint Thomas the Apostle in Hollywood.
We went to Naples, Capri, Rome, and the Amalfi Coast. In Sorrento, they closed down a café for us and had everything prepared to walk us through the steps of making ravioli. Then we ate it!
What's the best advice you've ever received?
TM: Don't hold grudges. Don't panic. Like my sister always said, just do the best you can every day and be thankful for it.