Juggles duties as nurse and office manager with one goal: improving patient care

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2008 Healthcare Hero
Therese Stevens

It's impossible to completely separate the medical and business elements of practice. To be able to deliver health care and do it efficiently is a gold standard for the industry.

That's just what Therese Stevens, a licensed practical nurse, does for Dr. William Mahon's office in Oswego, where she serves as both nurse and office administrator.

One of Stevens' patients, Suanne Darling, describes her as "a kind and compassionate nurse."
After Darling's mother suffered a debilitating fracture to her arm, Stevens went above and beyond the call of duty to help the family. Stevens offered advice about how to wear the sling for maximum comfort. She also suggested exercises that would help Darling's mother regain full use of her arm more quickly. "Ms. Stevens was very patient and spent a lot of time with us, giving us helpful hints on a speedy recovery," says Darling. "We never felt rushed or bothersome. She was so caring and compassionate."

During her 26 years as a nursing professional—and 25 years managing the practice—Stevens says she's continuously tried to come up with new ways to financially maintain and improve the practice. Her prime objective: improving patient care.

Stevens is continuing her management training by pursuing a degree in business administration.
If that wasn't enough, Stevens also works at Oswego Hospital—the hospital in which she was born—in the intensive care unit. She works there on a per diem basis. "I strive to make our patients comfortable," says Stevens. "I can only hope to have helped benefit or solve some of the problems of health care today."

Team work, she says, is the only way to tackle many of those problems, whether at the office or the hospital. Stevens has done her part to foster a team spirit at work, helping to mentor student nurses and student physicians. In a way, she's returning a favor. "I was very fortunate to have some wonderful teaching peers. I have learned a great deal from my peers and am proud to teach others."

Stevens has successfully balanced her two jobs with her home life as a single mother of two daughters. Her oldest, a recent college graduate, has a successful career in Virginia while her youngest is an actively involved sophomore in high school. Stevens says she's proud of the feedback she's received at her two jobs, which includes numerous compliments about her office's professionalism and courtesy as well as the care she gives personally.

"Ms. Stevens showed us that there are still wonderful people in the world," says Darling.
(By Chris Motola)