People of the U: Laron TriggPublished on Wednesday, November 18, 2020By: Ruth Cummins, email@example.com“Thank you for choosing UMMC. My name is Laron. How may I assist you today?”That deep, resounding voice is familiar not just to the UMMC community, but to thousands of people who call the Medical Center’s main number of (601) 984-1000. “Every time I receive a compliment for Laron, the person always states they thought he was a recording because he sounds so professional,” said Laron Trigg’s supervisor, Stacy Martin, associate director for ambulatory access management.Trigg, who serves as day assisting hospital operator supervisor, oversees five day-shift operators. India Thompson, the overnight assisting hospital operator supervisor, oversees four operators who work nights/overnight. Every one of them, including Trigg, answers an average 350 calls daily depending on their shift, Martin said. A day shift operator, on a busy day, could answer 700-plus calls.On Dec. 8, Trigg will celebrate his 17th anniversary at the Medical Center. He is the longest-tenured UMMC operator, and “he has trained every hospital operator since he started here,” Martin said.Trigg said he greatly enjoys the most important part of his job: Getting patients and visitors where they need to go.“I help patients get to the right appointment and to the department they need to go to,” Trigg said. “It can be a challenge. Some call and tell you that they have an appointment. You ask them where, and they say, ‘in Jackson.’”Trigg patiently asks them questions. “I say, ‘Is it at UMMC? What department or specialty are you looking for?’ A lot of the time, they know it’s in Jackson, but they don’t know the area. A lot of them don’t know who their doctor is.”He works with them to figure out if they need to be at the main campus or one of the off-campus clinics in the Jackson metro area. “The best part of my job is helping patients,” Trigg said.But sometimes, Trigg can’t give callers the information they ask for.“People can get upset when they know a family member is here, but they are not in the public patient directory,” Trigg said. “The patient might be an assault victim, and their name is not listed. We have to explain that not all patients are listed in the public directory.”He transfers such callers to the Office of Patient Experience to receive assistance.“Laron is a true leader with an impeccable work ethic,” Martin said. “He knows the real meaning of outstanding service and provides it consistently to our patients. I have had the pleasure of working with Laron for over five years, and he has never called in or been tardy. “He always volunteers to stay late or work extra shifts to ensure our phone queues are covered 24 hours, seven days a week.”When the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up, Martin said, “we moved most of the hospital operators remote to work from home. Laron was instrumental in testing and completing the needed paperwork to make this possible for his team.”Trigg also assisted in training hospital operators in scheduling after-hours employee Quick Care appointments and MyChart patient assistance, Martin said. “I feel very blessed to get to work with him,” she said.Although he’s scheduled to work a day shift, Trigg jumps in wherever he’s needed. “This is 24 hours a day, every day, holidays, weekends,” he said. “If you do not like sitting down, it’s not the job for you.”Trigg has seen significant changes in how the job is done since he began almost two decades ago. “When I started here, we had a three-inch notebook. We had to flip back and forth in it to manually find the numbers and then manually transfer calls. Now, everything’s in a computer program. No more looking in a three-inch notebook!”The Flowood resident said he enjoys an off-campus pastime that doesn’t require a lot of customer service or hours on a phone or computer.“My hobby is sitting there and watching college football all day on Saturday, and the pro games on Sunday – if I’m not working,” he said.Every institution is rich with personal stories. We want to know ours.Do you know a student, staff, volunteer or faculty member at the University of Mississippi Medical Center whose story would make an interesting feature or deserves to be recognized?Know someone who you think more people should know about because of his or her commitment to his or her job and/or the people he or she works with or for? Who has a fascinating hobby? Who participates in a remarkable group? Who has accomplished something amazing?We want to learn more about each individual who makes up our extraordinary UMMC Family, and we want to share what makes each person unique and special in the People of the U section of our dynamic new UMMC Intranet.To nominate someone to be considered for a People of the U feature, just complete and submit this short form. If that person is picked for a feature, a member of the Communications and Marketing staff will contact him or her to learn more about his or her personal story.Soon, the rest of the Medical Center will know why your nominee is an outstanding reminder of what makes this place so special – the People of the U.