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Hidden Heroes of Ridley-Tree Cancer Cneter

Mar 25, 2021, 13:41 PM by Nicole Young

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These key employees coordinate and schedule patients’ infusion appointments at Ridley-Tree and Cottage Hospital, as well as visits with physicians. They collaborate from behind-the-scenes with nurses, pharmacies and insurance authorization specialists to streamline and confirm many medical and financial details before and during treatment. The schedulers understand the challenges of managing cancer alongside work and family responsibilities and they frequently speak with patients to help them keep track of what can sometimes be a complicated calendar. This close contact also ensures that the important life events and activities which promote patients’ self-care, recovery and healing can still take place. Kristine Villa

Infusion schedulers Diana Morales and Kristine Villa work at Ridley-Tree in Santa Barbara, and Tammy Rayas is located in the Solvang branch. Tammy says the personal relationships formed with patients are the most rewarding part of her job. “We get to know them well since they spend a fair amount of time with us. The appreciation they often show for their care is what has kept me here for nearly 15 years,” notes Tammy, who has scheduled many happy “Last Chemo Day” celebrations and even one infusion suite bridal shower! The team is mainly unseen and only heard over the telephone or through emails, however their dedication to the job stems from great care and concern for those they serve. “Our patients are not just patients, they become our family. All of the staff here is one big family doing our part to welcome in new members. You cannot find better individuals to spend and share the day with,” remarks Diana.

Photo captions: (Top) Diana Morales, (Middle) Kristine Villa, (Bottom) Tammy Rayas 

Tammy Rayas

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