“Meet Grand Rounds” is a series of interviews introducing some of the people working to make quality health care accessible to everyone, everywhere.
The Care Team at Grand Rounds provides unparalleled support and guides patients through every step of their health care journey — from collecting medical records to scheduling appointments. The team has received the Stevie® Award for Customer Service Department of the Year in the health care category for the past three years. Learn more about one of our care coordinators, Claudia Agbor-Bessem, in the Q&A below.
What do you do at Grand Rounds?
I’m a care coordinator based in the Sierra Patient Center in Reno, where I have the honor of working directly with patients from different geographic and economic backgrounds and helping them get the right care — whether it’s a remote expert opinion or in-person office visit. More specifically, I help patients through every step of their health care journey, ensuring they are fully informed and that the process is as seamless and stress-free as possible for them. I want our patients to feel as though they always have a shoulder to lean on and an advocate in their corner.
What inspired you to join Grand Rounds?
Our mission at Grand Rounds definitely resonates with me. Growing up in Cameroon, West Africa, I saw first-hand how the lack of access to quality health care can negatively impact lives. A family member of mine was misdiagnosed and eventually died due to receiving the wrong treatment. And I was shocked and sad to see similar problems here in the U.S. I believe that by being part of this amazing team at Grand Rounds, I’m making a difference in someone’s life and doing my part to improve our health care system.
What’s been your most memorable/rewarding Grand Rounds moment so far?
I enjoy reading our patient stories and feedback on their experience with Grand Rounds — it really puts into perspective why I do what I do. The truth is, we could be any of these patients dealing with tough situations, so I like to treat them like I would my family or friends, with empathy and respect.
I also like working on international cases and interacting with people from different backgrounds. It’s really interesting to learn something new about their culture or how health care works where they’re from.
How did you get started in your career field?
During my undergraduate years at the University of Nevada, Reno, I worked at the student union as an event planner where I was in charge of community health events. I also traveled to developing countries to teach preventive health practices.
After graduating with a degree in Community Health Sciences, I was fortunate enough to get a job here at Grand Rounds. I honestly cannot see myself in any other field than health care.
If you could change one thing in U.S. health care, what would it be?
I’d want the patient-doctor relationship to be different so that when a patient visits a doctor, they don’t feel like a number on a list or are rushed through their appointment. I’d also like to see a more transparent health care system where patients understand the basics of their health benefits and what they can expect when they visit the doctor.
The “silent treatment” that our health care system has been giving to patients, and particularly those with chronic and life-threatening diseases, is disturbing. For example, some people have no means or limited access to necessary drugs or services. To move the health care system in the right direction, we need policy changes that have patients’ best interests in mind.
What are you most passionate about outside of the office?
I’m passionate about mentoring middle and high school girls in my community because I understand from my personal experience the value of uplifting and building their self-esteem at a young age. In college, a classmate and I started an organization called “A.B.L.E Women,” which stands for Ambition, Beauty, Leadership, Equality. The goal of this organization is to serve as the face of diversity for women from different backgrounds, helping them understand the importance of an education, service to the community, leadership, sisterhood and equality.
I’m also passionate about my relationship with Jesus Christ and I believe that without Him, I am nothing.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation is definitely a superpower I’d love to have because it would allow me to easily visit family members who do not live in the U.S. I’d also visit different communities around the world, educating them on simple health practices such as hand-washing, which can help prevent illnesses.
Meet more Grand Rounds employees here.