Medical secretary Mirta Franqui is usually the first to arrive at the Berrie Center each morning. Upon her arrival, Mirta turns on the lights, starts the lab machines, makes sure there is paper in the printers and the copier and tidies up if need be. “I come in at 7:30 am,” said Mirta, who has an 8 am to 4 pm workday, “and usually just take it upon myself to make sure the clinic is ready before the patients come. I see something that needs to be done and I do it. That’s just who I am.”
She is also an extraordinary multi-tasker. For the last 3 and a half years, Mirta has been the medical secretary at a busy Berrie Center, where as many as 11,000 adults and children are seen during the course of a year. Her days are chock full of answering phones and faxes (50 or more daily), scanning documents, filing medical records, filling out forms, fulfilling requests, getting various insurance approvals and prior authorizations and communicating with diabetes supply companies per the patients’ needs. “I try to assist the doctors and educators as much as I can so they can spend less time on paperwork,” said Mirta, who spent 16 years in the business world as an administrative assistant in the legal department of Prudential Securities prior to coming to the Berrie Center in 2013. “It frees them up so they can spend more time with their patients.”
Mirta, said Co-Director Robin Goland, MD, the J. Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Diabetes “is critical to the success of the Berrie Center.” Her colleagues marvel at her machine-like efficiency, her ability to problem-solve, and her capacity for work. “She takes care of a lot of administrative tasks for all of us,” added Dr. Goland. “It’s a big job.”
“I love my job—I love what I do,” said Mirta, a cancer survivor who came back to work at the Berrie Center after many intense weekly treatments and surgeries. “Coming to work was the best thing for me both physically and mentally. It was easy coming to work because everyone was so supportive and caring. It helped me recover quickly.” She’s grateful to the Berrie Center for another reason too: Said Mirta, “What I love about the Berrie Center is that I’ve learned so much along the way about diabetes. For example. I never knew it affects people of all ages."