When you’re in the business of helping feel better, it truly is a team effort and nothing is more satisfying than hearing compliments about our staff from our patients. And when you have compassionate, engaging people like patient coordinator, Sarah Elkadiri, on your team, we know our patients are in great hands!
Q. What do you do at HVC and how long have you been here?
A. I started working as an intern here at Hamilton Vein October 22, 2012 while finishing up my double masters in business administration and health administration at the University of Houston Clear Lake.
Now I’m a patient coordinator whose responsibilities include scheduling and coordinating treatment plans, explaining billing documents and treatment plans. Basically it’s my job to ensure each patient is informed and educated about all aspects of their treatment. I love people so building relationships is right up my alley!
Q. How did you get into this field?
A. I love people and helping people so initially I was accepted to a dental school. Once there, I could tell it wasn’t the fit for me because it was very hands-on and I really couldn’t interact with the patients! For someone who loves to communicate, I knew I had to find something else healthcare related.
That something else was discovered when a friend of mine worked in the admin department of a hospital. So I thought I’d give that avenue a try — and I loved it!
Q. What do you love most about your job?
A. I love to see change, results. Since I communicate the most with our patients, you really get to know them. And it’s thrilling to see their progress as they go through treatment.
I love how the patient coordinators help the patients create their own little “Hamilton Vein family” — if there’s a particular PA, doctor or nurse they like to see each time, we make that happen for them. We do everything we can to accommodate schedules and special requests so our patients feel comfortable every step of the way.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Being a patient coordinator let’s me do two things I love to do: talk and work with people! We see people walk in with some pretty serious, debilitating vein problems and because my desk is right near the exit, I get to see their happy, smiling faces when they go out.
You just don’t realize what an impact you’ve made. The patients end up loving us so much! They bring us gifts, home-baked goodies, and so many compliments and thank you notes.
Q. Any patient story that really sticks out in your mind?
A. When I first started, there was a lady who walked in with a walker during the early stages of her treatment and when she walked out later — she started dancing and singing, “Look at me! I can move now!” It was so moving.
Q. Where are you from?
A. I was born and raised in Houston. My parents are from Badhdad originally but moved to the States in 1980.
Q. Share a special patient story
A. A couple of months ago I had a lady call and tell me how much her legs hurt and all the pain she was in. She was terrified to come in, thinking it would hurt, even the consult. I talked to her for at least 20 minutes explaining that the consult is completely painless, what it was, and that once she came in the she would find out what was causing her pain.
She did come in and after her consult she sat down with me so I could go over her treatment plan and billing information. I assured her that now that she knew what was going on and that there was a plan forward in place, she could relax. She was in the best place to get treated. She was so relieved after that. That made me feel great.
After she was done with treatment she sent a handwritten note to Dr. Hamilton, saying things like “I was the patient. But your staff was patient with the patient. Sarah and your staff worked so hard to accommodate my schedule.” I love that she took the time to write a note. That is so meaningful.
Q. Tell us something people don’t know about you. Do you have a special talent? Lived somewhere exotic? In a band?
A. This might be too revealing, but I’m a HUGE Backstreet Boys fan.
I’ve seen them every time they come to Houston and I have been known to travel to their concerts. I’m the girl holding up signs that say “Marry Me!” My favorite is Brian Littrell. I’m also a Spice Girls fan.
Oh, and I sky dive.
Q. What’s your guilty TV pleasure?
A. “Revenge” is just addicting. And I love to hate the “Kardashians” — which I have to watch when my husband’s not around.
Q. What’s your favorite place to eat or go in Houston?
A. There’s this awesome hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant in midtown — Cali Sandwiches. I ate there almost every day when I worked downtown. You MUST go there!
Q. If you won the lottery, what would you do?
A. Pay off student loans! For sure. And travel the world. Travel, travel, travel. Guess I’d have to buy a jet!
Q. What is your dream vacation?
A. I really want to go to Bora Bora/ Thailand
Q. What do you like to do on your days off?
A. Pamper, get nails done, massage, guilty pleasure TV, family time.
Q. Any exciting news?
A. I’m gonna be a new mom! I’m due in November and this baby is going to be in “time out” as soon as it’s born — so not making mommy feel good right now! But we are very excited!