“I love my job. I can use all my skills and put them into this role and give it my best,” Loni Myles told ExperiaHealth. Ms. Myles is a Guest Services Ambassador (GSA) at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Her job is to assist patients, guests, and staff members to get the support they need, whether that’s help finding a room or a person to lean on when things get difficult. “Imagine how comforting it is, knowing someone’s in their corner. Being one-on-one with patients is a privilege and a blessing.”
Ms. Myles grew up in the south-side Chicago neighborhood that UCM serves. After working as a beauty advisor at Walgreens, she took some time off following the death of several family members to help care for her niece. When she was ready to return to the workforce, her career counselor insisted she apply for the GSA position. “She thought my personality would be a great fit,” Ms. Myles reports. “I aced my customer service test. I was so overwhelmed and excited.”
Ms. Myles went through a 2 week orientation on service principles and how to spot people who might need assistance. And because the GSA position was newly introduced, Ms. Myles got to help shape the role. “My relationship with my supervisors has been a real help. I care and am cared for in this role.”
Serving her community is a huge draw for Ms. Myles. “It’s amazing to know you might see your neighbor here,” she says. “I got to see my 11th grade science teacher here visiting someone. It’s a great to be able to help them in turn.”
Speaking with Ms. Myles, her dedication and enthusiasm for her work are apparent. She is both exuberant and calming, giving her the energy to continually strive improvement while knowing when to sit quietly and just be there for the people she serves. “One day I was in the hospital and I noticed a lady crying. I grabbed some tissue, ran in the elevator and comforted her. I sat and prayed with her, got her some water, made her smile. She called me her angel.”
Some days are challenging – patients and families struggle with the realities of illness and loss. But the GSAs are there to provide resources and help that would otherwise fall through the cracks of a busy medical system. “No one ever wants to be ignored,” she says. “I’m excited to be in a place where I’m in a position to notice and help.”
As Ms. Myles supports the staff, patients, and visitors at UCM, she and her colleagues also support each other. “My colleagues and I know each other,” she says. “If our smile isn’t ear to ear, we give each other a hug. It can be hard not knowing what the next day will bring. You have to have a servant’s heart.”
We salute Ms. Myles and the other UCM guest services ambassadors. It’s a beautiful thing to bring a servant’s heart to help support a healing environment.