UTS Coordinator team handles the shutdown

Photo collage of three women

Darla Wolf, Tillie Loza, and Venise Lee.

The UTS Coordinator Team left Emory on Tuesday, January 28 like most other employees at around 12:30…then the calls started coming in…

Lamar Kelly (UTS) received the first call around 12:50 from Sharon Gregory (UTS) at the Service desk. Venise Lee (UTS) rerouted their calls before leaving the office that day to the After Hours Support Team, TOC, then got caught up in the gridlock on Clifton Road. She started receiving emails from customers while sitting in traffic.

Venise received an email from Emory at Covington (in Newton County) that they were closing at 1:15 and they needed their calls routed to after-hours support and wanted this in place until noon the following day. The team had two coordinators working remotely that day, Darla Wolf and Tillie Loza (both of UTS). Venise reached out to them for assistance with this routing change.

By the time she got home four hours later, requests from the Clinic, Student Health Services, Radiology, and Gwinnett Family Medicine had been received. Venise rerouted Student Health Services and Radiology, then Emory Operators needed an announcement added to their translations notifying customers that the clinics were closed. Of course the operators never closed but customers needed to be aware before waiting for an operator.

The following morning the Coordinator Team had to start all over again as the University was closed again. Routing changes for the Service Desk, Student Health Services, Sugarloaf Clinic, Faculty Staff Assistance Program, Emory at Covington, and Gwinnett Family Medicine were completed for a closing on January 29.

Each of the call translations had to be updated with routing in order for the calls to redirect to the correct announcement or after-hours numbers. As soon as the team heard of the University closing for January 30, they started late on the afternoon of January 29 rerouting again, completing the changes before 6:00 p.m. Announcements had to be recorded and changed several times for the clinics as their plans continued to change.

On January 30, offices were still closed and the team continued with routing changes for the Clinics. By mid-morning, some of the locations started to open around 10:00 a.m. and routing was changed so that calls would flow back to the office location. The clinics and Healthconnections decided to reopen on January 31 and requested an announcement to let customers know to expect heavy call volumes and longer than normal wait times. The announcements were in place and Venise had 18 different sets of translations that had to be changed.

“This has been an experience that I will never forget,” says Venise. “I hope that I can make changes so that we have an even smoother transition in the event of another weather situation.”

Kudos the team received:

“You guys have been awesome during this time and I would like to commend everyone for their efforts and long hours worked. It has been an eye-opening experience just watching in the background how you’ve operated during this time of inclement weather without any intervention from Management. It says a lot about the group’s initiative, willingness to work long hours and how well you are prepared. I am thrilled and pleased to have each of you as part of the team and look forward to getting back to the office to work through any process improvements to make the next experience even better. Hats off to each of you.” – Lamar Kelly (UTS), Coordinator Team manager

“Thank you all for your hard work as we experience inclement weather closing in our clinics.” – Brent Gipson, Project Manager, Emory Clinic

“You are awesome, thank you so much for your help!” – Vickie Lynn Labrack, Operations Manager, Emory Clinic

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