“If your heart is in your job and you’re doing something you love, it becomes a personal mission,” Kara Eaton explains of her role on the Roswell Park campus as Executive Director of Patient and Family Experience. Kara became immersed in the world of patient advocacy when she was a caregiver and felt there wasn’t enough support for her family member and herself. Since that experience, Kara has worked to align her personal goals and journey with a career she was passionate about. In 2008, she learned of a posting for a patient advocate at Roswell, and the rest, as they say, is history.
There’s no blueprint for Kara’s job. Rather, her duty changes as the organization evolves. Always, patients and their caregivers come first. She spends her days tracking areas where Roswell does well, and communicating where patients can be better served and kept at the center of each and every decision.
While on the job, Kara reminds herself of the reality of her role: when something isn’t working, it’s a chance to enact change. “We are continuously growing and improving for our patients,” Kara says, noting that one day she might be asking Facilities for new furniture for a sitting area, and on another, she’s helping to streamline customer service at Valet.
When the COVID-19 crisis reached Roswell, Kara’s day-to-day schedule didn’t change much. At the forefront of her mind is still the patients and their experience. But she’s had the opportunity to work with new people and on new projects, an experience that has inspired her. Kara believes in Roswell’s endless opportunities to expand knowledge, whether it be from colleagues, doctors, researchers, nurses, patients or their caregivers. “We’re humble, but what we do is inspiring,” Kara says, “I am honored to be at Roswell and to take care of and learn from our patients.”
Have you ever met someone who would never even think of saying, “That’s not my job?”
That’s Kara in a nutshell. Colleagues describe Kara as someone who is kind, positive and always there when anyone needs her. She is always willing to go above and beyond — very above and beyond — her actual job role. Whether a patient’s family wants to coordinate a parade (or even a wedding!) or staff members need a fun pick-me-up, she will work hard, day and night, to make it happen. She rides in the Empire State Ride, dresses up in costumes to make patients smile on Halloween and is always thinking of new, creative ideas. Roswell Park is extremely fortunate to have someone who cares so much, and dedicates herself so selflessly. Kara is the true embodiment of the Roswell Park family culture.
The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly. To read the latest information on Roswell Park’s response and find additional resources, visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) web page.Learn More