Morris Native Named Morris Hospital Fire Starter of the Month
March 2, 2020 – As a patient service representative at the Morris Healthcare Center of Morris Hospital on East Route 6, Kim Kuykendall knows she has an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. That’s why she is so welcoming and helpful to everyone who enters the office door. It’s why she works so hard to remember patients’ names. It’s why she makes sure everyone she encounters walks away feeling like someone cares. Described as a “guiding star for patients,” Kuykendall was named Morris Hospital’s Fire Starter of the Month in January.
A Morris native, Kuykendall had just moved back from California when she took a job working at the front desk at Dr. Raja Saleem’s family medicine practice in August 2017. Shortly afterward, Dr. Saleem’s practice affiliated with Morris Hospital and became a Morris Hospital Healthcare Center. It didn’t take long for Kuykendall to be recognized as a standout, role model employee.
“Kim is the embodiment of a fire starter employee,” says Brittany Duda, Practice Supervisor at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers. “She has an unwavering commitment to excellence and truly goes above and beyond to make every interaction special. I have witnessed Kim’s compassion on several occasions, and the comfort she is able to provide is clearly reflected in our patients. We are extremely lucky to have her as a part of the Morris Hospital family.”
Prior to joining Dr. Saleem’s practice, Kuykendall had a history of helping others, having worked with adults with disabilities, homeless women and children, and families with loved ones in hospice care. Along with answering phones, scheduling appointments, checking in patients, processing co-pays and checking insurance coverage, Kuykendall uses her front line position in the family medicine practice setting to make patients feel special.
“I do get to know our patients pretty well,” says Kuykendall. “I’m the first person they see when they walk in the door and the last person they talk to before they leave. It’s important to me to recognize patients and be able to call them by name. I think that’s important to them, too. I always try to treat others as I would like to be treated or like they’re family members.”
In early civilizations, fire starters were individuals who had the important job of keeping the flame alive. With over 1,400 employees, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers is the largest employer in Grundy County.
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