Cathy Munyon, Manager of Telecommunications, UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital
This past October, Cathy Munyon celebrated her 40th anniversary at UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital. This speaks volumes about both Cathy and the hospital, which she describes as “like a second home to me.” Cathy started out in patient registration. “My mother-in-law worked here and she encouraged me to apply.” Four decades later, Cathy is the glue of the hospital's telecommunications function, managing a small and dedicated staff of switchboard operators. “It’s like a family here,” Cathy said. "Everyone works so well together.”
Cathy and her team are the voice of the switchboard, fielding calls from patients and families. “We get all kinds of requests, many of which have nothing to do with the clinical operations here,” Cathy said. “We connect patients and their families to resources outside the hospital, like their private physician and their pharmacy." Calls run the gamut of patient and family questions. “We look up a lot of things on Google,” Cathy said. At 3 pm, the switchboard moves to the lobby and the operators serve as visitor greeters. "We help people find their relatives, call for a taxi—whatever our patients and their families need."
In addition to answering calls, the switchboard works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure Marlborough Hospital runs smoothly. With Cathy at the helm, they monitor the alarms to notify police, fire, or security, and they dispatch patient transport, housekeeping, maintenance, and interpreter services. They also route calls to caregivers' pagers and cell phones, and they manage the hospital copy center, which provides forms and copies for all departments.
Cathy is very humble about her work. But Marlborough Hospital is better for her being there. Her colleagues say she never says no when it comes to staying late, coming in on a weekend, or volunteering for community service projects and health fairs. To Cathy, that's just part of being a caregiver. “I enjoy coming to work and seeing what challenges await and how I can help meet our caregivers’ needs,” she said.