Thrive by IU Health

August 28, 2020

Guest Relations team members work to provide patients and visitors with a memorable experience

IU Health North Hospital

Guest Relations team members work to provide patients and visitors with a memorable experience

Sonali Patel and Emely Villalta know how difficult it can be for patients and visitors to find their way around the hospital. Patel and Villalta both work in Guest Relations at IU Health North Hospital and are the smiling faces patients and visitors see when they visit the Welcome Desk.

By Trudy Odenwald, Marketing Associate, IU Health Indianapolis Suburban Region, todenwald@IUHealth.org

For many people, finding their doctor’s office in a large hospital can be difficult. Sonali Patel and Emely Villalta both work in Guest Relations at IU Health North Hospital and are the smiling faces patients and visitors see when they visit the Welcome Desk.

Patel and Villalta help patients get to their doctor’s visits, assist patients who require a wheelchair by wheeling them to their destination and are there to answer any questions that patients or visitors may have.

For both Patel and Villalta, they say the most rewarding part of their job is helping people.

“Sometimes just the smallest conversation from wheeling somebody in from the entrance to their doctor’s visit can light them up and brighten their day,” Patel said. “For some we’re the only conversation they may have for the entire day and those interactions are really important.”

“I like being able to help people who are coming to the hospital for the first time,” Villalta said. “Many don’t know where they’re going, and I like to make sure they get to their destination.”

While both Patel and Villalta are new to the Welcome Desk station, Patel is no stranger to IU Health. She spent the last two and a half years working at IU Health Saxony Hospital in the guest relations department. After seeing the culture at IU Health Saxony during her daughter’s doctor’s appointments, Patel began volunteering and eventually working at the hospital.

“I remember going up the elevator and getting lost upstairs,” Patel said. “Then someone from Environmental Services took their time to help me get to my doctor’s visit and that’s something I’ll never forget.”

Patel and Villalta hope to provide patients and visitors with that same memorable experience when they visit IU Health North.