Long-Term Follow-Up

Tamarin Smith

Tamarin Smith

Battle-tested in Iraq, Tamarin Smith has soft touch with patients

Before taking the position of patient care coordinator, Tamarin Smith knew in her heart who was going to be the real boss.

"The patients, it's always about the patients and their families," said Smith, who loves her new job at LTFU, her second home for about six months.

"Our mission is to provide the best possible care for our patients," said Smith, who works with patients whose last names fall between the letters G and M.

In her new role as patient care coordinator, Smith takes phone calls from patients, doctors and family members. She also schedules patient appointments, and when appropriate, directs their calls to nurses depending on the kinds of questions they have.

"I just started talking to patients on the phone, and I love that part of the job. By talking to patients, I can sense how strong they are; it's amazing to me how they are so good at keeping their spirits up, and how much they have taught me already."

Smith brings a fascinating background to her job. She served in the Washington National Guard for about six years; in 2004, she was deployed to Iraq as a medic, spending a month in Fallujah during a period of heavy fighting. She said that working in Iraq with American personnel and the Iraqi people taught her never to assume anything about anyone, and gave her a deep understanding of what it is like to help those who are in distress.

These days, she is busy taking care of her two little girls, Lyla, 1, and Dakota, 2. And because they're such a bundle of energy, she has started running with a co-worker during lunch hours to get in shape. "My kids are very active, and it's a challenge to keep up with them," she said.

Still, she always has plenty of energy for LTFU patients.

"I'm really happy here, and I'm really excited about my position. I'm learning so much about people, and I'm gratified to contribute a little something to their wellness," she said.