Chantia Bobo Harden, a physician assistant at Beaumont Hospital, Troy, walks into the hospital every day with the upbeat and friendly attitude her coworkers and patients have come to expect.
“My hope is that my attitude and positive energy are contagious,” Chantia said. “When patients are unable to see the smile behind my mask, I try laughter. Laughter can be heard and felt.”
For more than 12 years, Chantia has worked in the interventional radiology department performing image-guided procedures such as biopsies, angiography, sclerotherapy and PICC lines. Because of the nature of the conditions being treated, patients are usually anxious and nervous.
“When it comes to my patients, I take time to listen to them,” explained Chantia. “It takes time to encourage them to see a better day.”
Recently, a newly diagnosed liver disease patient came in feeling angry, guilty and resentful. Chantia described him as uncomfortable with his new diagnosis and current treatment and upset about the lifestyle changes in front of him.
“In addition to the medical care we were providing, I spoke with him about all the reasons he had to smile and told him ‘This is your pass. The next time I see you, I hope to see a smile on your face,’” Chantia said. “The next time I saw him he walked in the room and said ‘Here I am. I’m smiling and I appreciate you taking the time to make me feel supported.’”
Over and above her role as a caregiver, Chantia is the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at Beaumont, Troy. In June, she helped organize a system-wide moment of reflection event in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“When it mattered most, Beaumont stood up to support Black lives,” she said. “Our system is learning to work together to become more understanding, and to create a more equal and equitable health care environment for our patients and staff. To me, this defines Beaumont’s commitment to all.”