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For Jane Zachelli Kindness Is Always on Menu

Language barrier no match for Nutrition Services team member

Health care technology can assist physicians as they pinpoint a cancerous tumor, starve it so it can’t grow while simultaneously attacking it with chemotherapy. It can help nurses monitor vital signs and pick up slight, subtle but life altering variations. It can also help a patient get a good meal.

Jane Zanchelli, a 19 year veteran of Nutrition Services used the technology at her disposal to make sure her patient, whose native tongue was not English, received a satisfying meal.  The patient and his wife had been traveling through the North Country when he had a serious health scare.  He was a patient on R3 when he and his wife met Jane.  Part of her job as a Patient Services Assistant is to review menus with patients and order their meals for the following day.

“They were not from this country and communicating was difficult. Our goal is always to do our best to find a way to make our patients stay here a good one,” Jane explained. With her trademark daisy boutonniere and pleasant nature, she’s what some would call a people-person. Jane takes her role at CVPH seriously, understanding the importance of both good nutrition and an exceptional patient experience in the healing process. This inability to communicate was a challenge but nothing Jane could not over-come.

“I went to the desk to see if the language line* was available and it was not.  I remembered I had my smart phone with me,” she said. Using an app that was quickly downloaded, Jane was able to speak to and understand the patient and his wife. Meals were ordered. Friends were made.

Jane added, “Empathy is so important in our job.  It’s key to all that we do. Imagine being sick in a place so far from home and not be able to speak the language?”

Technology also plays a major role in providing quality health care but even a multimillion dollar machine is worthless without the skills of a compassionate professional, like Jane, in control. 

*CVPH uses the CyraCom/VRI (video remote interpreter) and CyraCom language line for hearing-impaired or deaf patients as well as for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) patients.