BWFH welcomes new Patient Family Relations Specialist

Gillian Fontana

Gillian Fontana recently joined Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital as our new Patient Family Relations Specialist. In this role, she will work closely with Patient Family Relations Manager Jaimie Paolucci, LICSW, to support patients and their families as they navigate the hospital.

Fontana comes to BWFH from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, where she served as a Surgical Coordinator and Medical Administrative Assistant for the last three years. Prior to that, she worked for 24 years in various roles in the Emergency Department at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. “I wanted to get back to an environment where I could help patients get through a difficult situation,” she says.

That desire led her to BWFH. “My philosophy is that no patient wants to be here. They are not coming here because they like us. Something has happened that has disrupted their lives. And to have an experience where they don’t feel comfortable or don’t have the information they need is terrible. That’s where I want to help,” she explains.

In her first few weeks on the job, she has done just that—handling several of her own cases and visiting with patients on the units. “I am very comfortable talking to patients,” she says. “After 24 years in the ED and being a mom to four kids, there is nothing you can throw at me that could shock me.”

The youngest of those four children has just completed the college admissions process and will soon be out of the house, but that doesn’t mean Fontana is any less busy. She recently (reluctantly) welcomed her daughter’s 15-month-old husky puppy into her home who she cares for while her daughter is away at college. When she does have time for herself, Fontana enjoys reading and being outdoors, especially hiking.

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