A lot can depend on a first impression, but there’s no pressure if you’re receptionist Debbie Reed. For more than 25 years, her smile has greeted patients at Mercy Clinic General Surgery – Mountain View.
“She’s just wonderful,” said Dr. Linda Milholen. “She puts people at ease. If I’m tied up in surgery, she keeps them informed. She has a good sense that if someone is sick, she’ll take them right to bed.”
Today, Debbie continues to run the front desk at the clinic where she began at age 33. In 1988, before it joined Mercy, it was a private practice that also delivered babies. “As the years went by, those babies started bringing in their own babies for check-ups,” added Debbie. “It’s gone by so fast. It feels like I started yesterday.”
To mark Debbie’s dedication, Dr. Milholen presented her with an award and flowers – but Dr. Milholen says the true gift has been Debbie’s commitment and compassion. “She’ll be talking away with someone and it’s almost like she’s known that person her whole life. Now that’s a gift. She has never, ever met a stranger.”
Of course, during her time at the clinic, Debbie met a few roadblocks. “I began by typing Medicare and Medicaid forms. Back then, everything was on paper,” said Debbie, who has remained a receptionist for most of her tenure. “Trust me, I didn’t want to update to this computer system – I wanted a paper chart! – but now I really do like it better.”
“And she really loves kids,” explained Dr. Milholen. “She is 11 times a grandmother, which is one of her biggest assets in the office. If someone brings in a child, Debbie gets out her box of toys and coloring books and they go to town.”
Debbie plans to dedicate another decade to Mercy before she retires to focus on her grandkids. “They’re each so unique. I find them fascinating and can’t wait to spend more time with them.”
Mercy Clinic General Surgery – Mountain View (100 W. US Highway 60) provides surgical and diagnostic procedures on an outpatient basis using the latest minimally invasive technologies, including high-definition monitors. Procedures include: upper GI surgery, gall bladder surgery, breast biopsy, colonoscopy, hernia repair, bronchoscopy, laparoscopic surgery and more.