Leading with Warmth: ARO Reception Team sets the Tone

Wed July 3rd 2024

Veena Maharaj is part of ARO’s reception team, welcoming new patients and their support people to ARO, and greeting them each day as they return for their treatment or appointments. Veena is passionate about her role, and her empathy and compassion for people shines through as she talks about her role at ARO.

Q. What led you to having this role?

A. I was looking for a role where I could add value in some small way every day, where I felt I made a contribution at the end of the day, this was the organisation that offered me that opportunity.

Q. What do you like most about your role?

A. I love the face-to-face contact I have with the patients. They appreciate a smile, a warm welcome, and someone non-medical to chat to about everyday things.

Q. What difference do you hope you make to patients?

A. I really want to make patients feel comfortable and cared for, with all that they are experiencing. If I can make a difference to their experience at ARO, I feel like I’ve helped in some small but important way.

Q. What do you think makes ARO special?

A. I think the people who work here have similar personalities, they are all caring people wanting to make a difference in the lives of people going through a difficult time. I think it shows through every interaction they have with each other, the patients and their support people.

Every patient is treated as an individual, we are willing to listen and help them in any way that we can.

Kate McLellan, ARO’s CEO, knows first hand just how important Veena and the reception team are. She remembers the first time she walked through ARO’s doors, it was as a support person for her Dad who was having treatment for prostate cancer.

She recalls, “The warm, bright and empathetic reception team were incredible – they make walking in that door each day for treatment just that little bit more manageable.”

This was a feeling that Kate has reflected on since starting as Chief Executive at ARO. She says “I never wanted to forget the feeling that team gives to patients and their whānau.”

The warmth patients experience starts at reception and extends through every staff member. With empathy at the forefront, the team puts patients at the centre of everything they do, setting the tone for their journey. The team at reception play an important part in shaping each patient's experience from the outset.

Kate concludes by saying “I have huge appreciation and admiration for the work that they do, and I know our patients feel that way too. They are amazing.”

Leading with Warmth: ARO Reception Team sets the Tone