School teachers needed supplies. VUMC employees stepped up.

About 300 employees made donations and filled multiple LP PENCIL Box yellow bins with paper, pencils, crayons and other supplies

Among the group pitching in to help students with school supplies were Tosha Phillips, Hannah Donovan (from LP PENCIL Box), Trina Covington, Jacquetta Guillory, and Aggie Iweorah.

Hundreds of teachers in the Metro Nashville School System have supplies for their students thanks to Access Specialists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Earlier this month, Access Specialists, also known as the Care Connections team in Patient Access Services, collected school supplies to donate to LP PENCIL Box, a local organization that provides free school supplies to teachers in the Metro Nashville Public School system.

“It’s an incredible sense of pride in working with colleagues who are so selfless. I see it every day. We give our all to take care of the patients who call us.”

During a departmental drive, about 300 employees made donations and filled multiple LP PENCIL Box yellow bins with paper, pencils, crayons and other supplies.

“I am proud that our team has collected almost 3,000 items to donate,” said Jason Mathisen, director of Access Operations. “This is a wonderful example of this team’s commitment to serve. Not only in service to our patients in the 10,000-plus calls we receive each day, but also to the broader community and its most important segments.”

The Care Connections team is responsible for all inbound and outbound calls and electronic correspondences involving appointment scheduling in adult ambulatory clinics. The team also plays a pivotal role in providing connections to resources for clinical advice for Vanderbilt patients.

Community service efforts in the area are led by Care Connections’ staff council, called the Access Specialist Advisory Panel. Earlier this year, the group conducted a food drive and donated 2,800 food items to Second Harvest Food Bank.

 “We saw how successful it was. We wanted to do this again and expand our reach to other community organizations. When back-to-school time came, we connected with LP PENCIL Box,” Mathisen said.

“It reminds everyone we are here to take care of patients and those patients are members of our community. We want to take care of them in other ways as well.”

The team plans to continue to donate to local organizations and also to volunteer in the community.

“It’s an incredible sense of pride in working with colleagues who are so selfless. I see it every day. We give our all to take care of the patients who call us,” Mathisen said. “It’s such a cool team to be a part of. It’s really something special.”

Those at LP Pencil Box are grateful for the team’s efforts.

“The LP PENCIL Box is only possible by the generosity of the Nashville community,” said Joel Wright, LP PENCIL Box manager. “Supply drives by businesses and organizations are a preeminent way to supply teachers and students in Metro Nashville Public Schools with the tangible tools they need to learn and succeed academically.”

“Without such great partners and generosity, teachers would have to spend more of their own money just to give basic supplies to many students whose family may not be able to afford supplies.”

PENCIL