In a small office on the 6th floor of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Laura Devlin picks up the phone and immediately puts an LTFU patient at ease.
As an LTFU team coordinator, Devlin said nothing is more important to her than making sure patients returning for follow-up visits have a trouble-free experience.
"I'm their point of contact when they return to SCCA, and my job is to help them navigate the process," she said. "I want to please the patients and the LTFU team."
Many returning patients will immediately recognize Devlin, who worked on the infusion unit on the fifth floor for two years before moving to her current position. Her new job is demanding and fast-paced but gratifying.
"I'm flexible and detailed-oriented. I love juggling the little details," she said.
That usually begins about five weeks before a follow-up patient shows up at the center, a typical window of time for scheduling visits. When a patient is scheduled for a visit, Devlin consults with LTFU and SCCA staff to make sure that all pertinent tests are ordered. Some patients may need a vaccine or a series of tests. Each patient, she said, has unique needs. And it's her job to ascertain that everything, and everyone, is ready for a patient's visit.
"When the patients are here, the job is very hands-on," she said. "It gives me a chance to meet them and help them navigate the process."
"I'm usually their main point of contact, the first person they see when they get here." Devlin calls herself a town kind of girl. She grew up in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, just above the SCCA, and now lives in downtown, where she shares her space with Mr. D, a friendly Chihuahua. If you happen to see a woman in a black and white polka dot helmet riding a Vespa scooter-and a Chihuahua riding shotgun-that's Devlin out for a ride.
Devlin has also taken up golf, a game known for requiring attention to details. And she loves to travel. Once, she lived in New Zealand, a place she holds dearly in her heart.
"It's a beautiful country with beautiful people. I would love to visit again some day."