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If you would like to suggest an employee to be featured in Upstate FACES:
Contact: Liz Estera
Phone: 315 464-4401

September 2008

Karen Wentworth

Karen Wentworth, M.S.W joined SUNY Upstate Medical University in January 2008. As manager for the Patient Relations Department, Karen and her representatives personally respond to patient and family concerns and help facilitate communication between patients, family members, and the patient’s caregivers. In addition, Patient Relations provides support for the staff at University Hospital by acting as a mediator on their behalf. Some of the various functions performed by the Patient Relations department include:

  • Communicating patients’ concerns with a physician, nurse and various administrators throughout the hospital.
  • Arrange a family meeting for patients, their family members and members of the clinical care team responsible for the patients care.
  • Answer any questions regarding hospital policies, practices and procedures.
  • Assist any patients, families or visitors who are disabled in obtaining services.
  • Assist in obtaining social services, case management, and/or postal care.
  • Assist patients/families with available guest services.
  • Assist patients/families with any parking issues.

When asked what she enjoys most about her profession, Karen explained that being able to serve as a resource to patient, families and staff regarding patient rights and responsibilities, as well as assisting patients/families in making connections with a caregiver that can meet their specific needs is very rewarding and challenging at the same time.

Outside of work Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to her camp in Pennsylvania during the summer, and partaking in activities such as, jogging, kickboxing, fishing, softball and reading. She is a part-time adjunct instructor at Columbia College and enjoys teaching very much.

When asked what she wants people to know about her, Karen expressed that she is dedicated to her family and work. She takes pride in what she does and always strives to do her best. She enjoys interacting and assisting staff, patients and their families in order to meet their specific needs. The biggest challenge she encounters in her position is reassuring staff members that Patient Relations goal is to meet the needs of our patients and resolve any issues that arise without placing any considered opinion on anyone.

Karen, we want to thank you for your commitment to Upstate Medical University and your dedication to our employees, patients, and their families. Continue the great work!