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Longest Serving Employee Spotlight | Linda Phaiah

August 15, 2019

{DKH Longest-Serving Employees Spotlight}
In celebration of 125 years of service, DKH is showcasing many of our longest-serving employees who have dedicated 40 or more years to our organization. Here’s a chance to get a more personal look at the people woven into the history of your community hospital. 

This month we recognize Linda Phaiah, Senior Transcriptionist in Day Kimball Healthcare’s Medical Records department, who began working at DKH in June 1966. Linda’s roots with DKH go further back to her birth here at the Hospital. Linda grew up in Killingly and now resides in Brooklyn. When not at work, Linda enjoys spending time with her family.

In reflecting on her fondest DKH memory, Linda shared “About 10 years ago my grandson, Nathan, was being treated as a patient in the hospital for asthma. His room faced the back parking lot. It was the week before Thanksgiving and the department heads were handing out turkeys to employees. Lori Bennett was dressed up as a turkey and Nathan was enjoying watching her. Later that day, I told Lori that she made Nathan smile. She dressed up again in the turkey outfit, bought him a present from the gift shop, and visited him in his room. He was so excited and has never forgotten that visit to this day. The caring of a patient by an employee is priceless.”

Read on to learn more about Linda, including what inspired her career choice and more in this spotlight. 

#DKHTurns125 #DKHEmployeeSpotlight
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When did you begin working at DKH? I first started in June 166 in the Business Office as an outpatient billing clerk, but I left in May 1967 to get married and relocated to West Haven. I moved back in 1969 and was rehired in the Medical Records department in August 1969. 

What roles have you had at DKH? Since I was rehired in 1969, my main role has been a medical transcriptionist. As the senior transcriptionist I oversee the entire transcription system to make sure things are running smoothly, directing the work load within the office and to the outside transcription service after hours. I also have the job of keeping doctors up-to-date on complete their charts (dictating reports, e-signing their reports). Other responsibilities I have are ordering office supplies and signing off on time cards when the director is not on duty. 

Do you remember your first day of work at DKH? Yes, I was scared to death because I was going to be a medical transcriptionist and I had no medical background other than working in the business office, but Sophie Kokoska, the Medical Records Director at the time, knew me from previous employment in the business office and was willing to train me. 

What sparked your interest in healthcare? I got my first job here through Killingly High School before graduating. Back then when you took the business course, at the end of your senior year they would try to find job openings in the area. There were two openings – one at Day Kimball and one as a bank teller. I chose Day Kimball and fortunately was hired. When I came back to the area in 1969, I called my old boss, Mr. Bernard Smith, and he told me about the opening in Medical Records. The director of Medical Records, Sophie Kokoska, knew me from my previous employment in the Business Office and was willing to train me. It was a challenge, but so interesting, and I was determined to succeed. 

What do you like most about your job? Typing medical reports are very challenging and interesting. It’s a constant learning experience. 

What do you like most about working at DKH? What have you gained? I am proud to be a Day Kimball employee and have met many great people along the way. I enjoy the challenge I face every day in typing the medical reports. It is a constant learning process with all the new medical techniques coming into play both surgically and medically? 

What is your proudest moment at DKH? Employee of the Month in January 2005. 

What is your fondest memory of your time at DKH so far? I think my fondest memory was approximately 10 years ago when my grandson was a patient in the hospital for his asthma. He was on W1 and faced the back of the hospital parking lot. It was the week before Thanksgiving and the department heads were handing out turkeys to the employees. Lori Bennett was dressed up as a turkey and my grandson, Nathan, was having fun watching her. Later that day I told Lori how she made my grandson smile. She went back to her office and dressed up aging in the turkey outfit, bought him a present from the gift shop, and visited him in his room. He was so excited and has never forgotten that visit to this day. The caring of an employee to a patient is priceless. 

With this being DKH’s 125th anniversary, what do you think makes DKH so special? The fact that we are a small community hospital and have worked so hard through the years to maintain our stability to survive as long as we have through thick and thin with much success, I think, is very special and something to be proud of. As I walk down the halls on a daily basis, I sometimes reminisce of what is used to be, where departments where, how much we have grown, all the new specialties in medicine that we can now offer our community without having to travel a great distance within my 50 years here. It’s pretty amazing. 

What do you like to do outside of work? Spending time with my family.

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