Upstate Medical University presented 16 awards at its fall convocation Sept. 16. The President’s Award for Advancement of Affirmative Action was given to Suzanne M. Badman. Below is her biography, as it appears in the convocation program.
By Stephanie DeJoseph
Suzanne M. Badman is described as “a valued team member,” “a problem solver” and “a true leader in and out of Upstate.” For nearly four years, she has worked to arrange interpreter services for thousands of patients who speak more than 100 languages — with many who speak no English at all — and who require this resource to allow health care benefits through effective communication.
When Ms. Badman joined the team, she revamped interpreter services. She reviewed the process, listened to concerns and developed solutions. She implemented procedures that were fair and of the highest quality. She organized educational sessions for providers and staff that were sensitive to cross-cultural concerns of care. In addition, she standardized the qualifications of vendors and negotiated cost-effective contracts, while at the same time, she monitored and improved user satisfaction.
In the past year, she has introduced video interpreter services that are easily accessible from any patient setting. She has increased patient education materials that staff can access. “Her background as an RN and degree in library science have been enormous assets to her role,” commented a nominator.
In recognition of her work, she was asked to present her experiences at the 2014 North American Refugee Conference.
She has developed positive relationships with many diverse populations, including members of the deaf community, refugees and immigrant populations for whom English is a second language. She finds the balance between her department’s ability to meet demands across two campuses and multiple ambulatory sites, while managing increasing costs and delivering the appropriate levels of service.
Ms. Badman is extremely sensitive to the unique challenges faced by our diverse patient population, which includes individuals from many different countries who may come from diverse regions within each country. They approach our system of health care with their own set of fears, attitudes and concerns. She handles each encounter with a caring, supportive interaction. She is also highly attuned to the needs of our faculty and staff to provide high-quality care in an efficient, yet empathetic, way.
“She seems to grow more passionate by the day when it comes to the care of any patient or family member in need of language services. This is diversity at its core,” said one.
Ms. Badman is a member of the President’s Diversity Council-Diversity Lecture Series subcommittee. She has broadened the scope of the topics and increased the awareness. The Diversity Lectures have provided faculty, student and staff an opportunity to learn more about the underrepresented members of our communities that we serve every day. Topics have explored obesity, poverty, mental health and homelessness. She has also collaborated on the development and work of the Corps of Diversity Allies, a group that develops workshops on “unconscious bias” using grant funding.
One nominator said: “She is persistent in learning all she can about the patient needs and works tirelessly to expand the resources available to meet these needs.” Another commented, “She breathes diversity every day!”