When Swanzetta McCoy joined the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the George Washington University (GW) Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) as an administrative assistant 17 years ago, she already had five years of experience as a member of the GW community. Since then, she has excelled in several patient-facing positions across the GW MFA. No matter the role, McCoy always sets out to provide the care she would want to receive by being respectful of, and responsive to, individual patient preferences, needs, and values.
Q: What is your role at the GW MFA and what does it entail?
McCoy: I am a community health worker in the Department of Healthcare Delivery Transformation. I provide basic health education to the GW MFA patients experiencing a variety of chronic health illnesses. I also help people get the care they need through guidance on health behaviors, advocacy for individual and community health needs, and providing some direct services.
Q: How long have you been with the GW MFA?
McCoy: I have been at GW MFA for 17 years. Before joining, I was a data specialist in the medical records department at GW Hospital for five years.
Q: During your time here have you served in other roles?
McCoy: I started here as an administrative assistant in the department of OB-GYN and also held positions including OB coordinator, patient liaison in IVF, administrative assistant in the Department of Cardiology, and executive coordinator for the geriatric house calls program.
Q: Why were you interested in a role at the GW MFA?
McCoy: I was looking for something that offered a better schedule for me. I was drawn to the idea of working a Monday-through-Friday job that allowed me to be off by 5 p.m. The person who was in the position prior to me, reached out to me about applying for her job because she was moving on. She and her colleagues knew me from the hospital.
Q: Was there a moment during your time here where you realized the impact your role has on the organization and on patients?
McCoy: Working here at the GW MFA has provided me with the understanding that every role has an impact on patient care. There have been various times in my several different roles that I have realized my impact. Knowing that as a community health worker I help to promote healthy living. This brings the greatest health benefits to the greatest number of people. It also helps to reduce health gaps caused by differences in income, education, race and ethnicity, location, and other factors that can affect health.
Q: What excites you the most about your role?
McCoy: I am excited by the thought that someone is able to make progress with their healthcare goals when we work together.