By David Johnson
Betty Rehnberg says she's learned to listen with her heart. What she hears, more often than not, comes from the heart of those in need of gentle understanding and caring hands.
“What I've learned is, you don't need to talk. You need to listen, just listen to what people have to say.”
Betty is the receptionist at Pullman Regional Hospital's Medical Specialty Clinic. As the first person to greet patients, she's the de facto face of the clinic – the one with the perpetual smile and the quiet, caring demeanor. Not that she isn't up for sharing a laugh when humor manages to supersede the seriousness of the clinic's mission.
“Sometimes there's a lot of laughter here,” she said.
The clinic, at 835 SE Bishop Blvd., adjacent to the hospital, is really nine rotating clinics in one location. It speaks to the fact that finding specialty medical care in small communities can be challenging. To meet that challenge, Pullman Regional has reached out to bring 18 specialists from both Spokane and Lewiston to Pullman on designated days throughout each month.
“Today is oncology day,” Betty said, explaining that 16 people were scheduled to undergo chemotherapy treatments or see cancer physicians who traveled to the clinic.
In addition to oncology, eight other clinics are offered at the same site, including: respiratory, allergy and asthma, cardiology, congenital heart disease, eyelid and orbital, neurosurgery and spine, neurology, and dermatology and skin surgery.
The specialty clinic concept is built around the belief that outside specialists can help support primary care physicians and thereby offer patients more timely care closer to home.
“I get to meet wonderful people and doctors,” Betty said. “And I get to offer a personal touch with the patients. When people are frustrated, because they're sick, and they don't know what to do, I'm able to say, let me find it for you, or let me help.”
As a receptionist, Betty said, part of her job is to make a good first impression on those who come to the specialty clinic for help. After that, the care offered through the clinic speaks for itself.
“It's wonderful for the community,” she said, “to have so many doctors come here and help.”
Pullman Regional Hospital is recognized at a state and national level for its high patient satisfaction ratings – consistently in the 95th percentile in the nation. We believe the quality of our staff and their satisfaction with their work directly impacts our patients. We pride ourselves in providing personalized care with high care staff-patient ratios. In addition to a highly trained committed staff, we boast an incredibly low staff turnover. Our people combine their passion for caring with their empathy and high level of skills to provide exceptional care. The Pullman Regional Hospital Endowment for Quality & Access is critical to continuing this legacy, and it’s the generosity of our community that sustains us. Learn how you can help.