Spotlight on Valerie Harkcom
Valerie Harkcom, patient access team lead in the Cook Children's Medical Center's emergency room, describes her role as that of a "professional mother."
After nearly 19 years with Cook Children's, she knows how to build and nourish a team driven by one united mission.
"We are working toward a common goal of serving the pediatric community and we do that in unison," said Valerie. "Cook Children's is a cutting-edge technological facility with staff that care and will do anything in their power to get families back to a healthy and whole state."
In her role, Valerie provides leadership and support to the patient access specialist team. Every day, she is determined to help her shift team grow as it delivers superior care to every patient who visits the emergency room.
"I want my team to be confident in coming to me with complicated layers of situations which we come across so very often," she said. "We work through those layers together. To be able to see many of these young people become the best version of themselves with work maturity is extremely special."
Valerie loves the potential of falling into a mentorship role and invests her time and energy leading by example. Doing so led to her best day at Cook Children's.
"Last year I registered a mom who recognized me from years and years ago when her oldest was a baby," she says.
The woman told Valerie that she recognized her and thanked her for her continued kindness and patience.
"Our actions carry over unexpectedly!" Valerie says.
Ultimately, Valerie's ability to nurture and build up others is an example of exactly why we are proud to proclaim #WeAreCookChildrens.