A ‘guardian angel’ in Customer Care

When you call a company’s customer service line, you don’t expect to meet an angel. But that’s exactly what happened to Kevin Cook when he reached out to our Customer Care department in a time of need.

Grateful patient Kevin Cook with his smiling caregiversKevin Cook (center) with his guardian angels (L-R): Shawna Fallon, senior director of development at Sharp Memorial Hospital, Dr. Edward Huynh, Ana Barroso, Dee Smith and La’Quetta Glasper.

It was 2015 and Cook had just retired from working for the City of San Diego. He was receiving cancer treatments from Sharp, needing regular appointments and medication – and paying his health care premiums every month.

A few weeks before his upcoming appointments, Cook received a letter from his health insurer, Sharp Health Plan, stating that his coverage was going to end in one month.

“I had 3 doctor appointments, a CT and MRI scheduled within a week and a half after the termination date,” Cook recalls. After weeks of phone calls, Cook discovered that his former employer had mistakenly recorded his information, explaining why Sharp Health Plan had not been receiving his payments.

With days left until he needed to access care and treatments, he called Sharp Health Plan’s Customer Care department. That’s when he met La’Quetta Glasper.

Glasper resolved the situation in a single phone call with Cook. During the call, she contacted multiple departments, going back-and-forth between them to get his coverage on track. “She came back on the line several times to apologize for the wait, but also told me what she was doing,” Cook says. “I felt she really cared about what I needed, and went beyond the call of duty to make sure the errors were corrected.”

After confirming with Sharp Health Plan’s enrollment department that Cook’s account was reinstated, Glasper needed to make sure his coverage was truly active. She contacted Cook’s pharmacy to verify that his prescriptions were good to go. They looked up his information and gave her the green light. He could pick up his medicine within the hour.

Moved by Glasper’s compassion, Cook recognized her as one of his guardian angels – twice. Sharp’s Guardian Angel program allows grateful patients to make donations in honor of the Sharp caregivers who deliver The Sharp Experience. It was in honor of Glasper and other outstanding caregivers that Cook made two pledges with the Sharp HealthCare Foundation, totaling $3.5 million, to name the Kevin H. Cook Infusion and Oncology Center at Sharp Memorial and to benefit oncology programs and services at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers.

At a Sharp HealthCare Foundation board meeting last fall, Glasper was finally able to meet Cook in person. Cook shook her hand, thanked her and gave her a hug.

“You never know who’s on the other side of the phone when you speak to people on a daily basis,” Glasper says. “You’re not thinking about their socioeconomic status, you’re just focused on doing the right thing, and helping them get the care they need.”