Every month, Boston Children’s Hospital honors one of our own—a member of the Boston Children’s family who exemplifies the very best in our commitment to care, research, teaching and community.
For the members of Boston Children’s Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders, the definition of the phrase “team player” starts and ends with Ryan O’Donnell. At the Center, where Ryan has been serving as the Center’s clinical administrative coordinator for the past three years, Ryan is typically the first to volunteer to work on a project or problem. She meets with each of her staff members on a weekly basis to check in on work around the clinic and pitch in wherever she can—usually on particularly challenging insurance cases. And her exceptional communication skills help her smoothly work with doctors, patients and family alike. That’s no small feat considering that Ryan coordinates care between multiple Boston Children’s clinics and the sleep lab and works with doctors from two different divisions.
In the short time she has served the Center, Ryan has worn many hats in management, support, patient scheduling and data collection and analysis. She has developed policies to get out of state patients seen in the sleep clinic and lab in a timely manner. She routinely volunteers to help her team make sense of the clinic’s data, manages the ever-changing schedule of fellows, nurse practitioners and attending physicians and has even helped the Center meet its monthly budget goals. “We depend on her utterly for maintaining and troubleshooting the high quality patient scheduling systems we have in place for the labs and clinics,” one of Ryan’s colleagues explains. “Ryan makes herself available at all hours of the day and sometimes during the weekends to provide support for our sleep techs, nurses and physicians.”
But Ryan spends just as much time thinking about and improving patient care and access in order to deliver the best possible service. More often than not, she’s among the last to leave the office—usually because she is working talking with a family about their child’s sleep issues and the services the Center can provide them. It’s not unusual for her colleagues to hear her on the phone with insurance companies trying to get an urgent sleep study approved or with families helping them navigate their insurance plans. No matter who’s on the other end, or what the topic may be, or how tough and complex the situation, Ryan always seems to have a smile on her face.
As another of her teammates puts it, “it is rare to see a person who appears to be in the exactly right position for which they are perfectly suited and in which they perform with consistent excellence; this is Ryan O’Donnell.”