Karolina Ortiz promotes teamwork, sense of belonging at Los Angeles clinic05/26/22 12:02:pm
Karolina Ortiz has a passion for making people feel like they belong. Since joining Rogers in January as director of operations in Los Angeles, she has made it her mission to create a sense of community at the clinic.
“My goal every day is to make sure my team is okay, whether that’s checking in with them, celebrating their birthdays, Rogers’ anniversaries, or something special that happens in their lives,” Karolina says. “I want employees to feel they are appreciated and cared for.”
Karolina has created a wall of photos to mark special days. She feels it’s important to invest time and energy in getting to know and acknowledge the team.
“For National Doctors’ Day in March, I stayed after hours to decorate the doctors’ office doors and I put out appreciation signs throughout the clinic,” she says. “I give every employee a sheet to fill out that asks for their birthday, anniversary, favorite color, favorite cake flavor, and if they collect anything specific. When I recognize them or if something special happens, I get them what they like. It takes people by surprise, but I enjoy going all out.”
Karolina says her efforts are paying off.
“People are telling me they feel valued and heard,” she says. “I want my team to know they can talk to me about a problem and be confident I’ll do something about it.”
Besides investing in the team, Karolina says she is working hard to help increase census.
“The clinic opened in December 2019, months before the pandemic began,” Karolina says. “I’m committed to taking it to the next level to help more patients get the care they need.”
Karolina says the opportunity for career growth and development attracted her to Rogers.
“I wanted to be challenged,” she says. “I’m excited about the opportunities to create positive change ̶ not just at the LA clinic but throughout the System.”
Prior to Rogers, Karolina worked as healthcare operations manager at DaVita Kidney Care, which had a deeply personal connection for her.
“My father was a DaVita patient,” she says. “He passed away in 2016. My father-in-law started dialysis a month ago, and we’re hoping my mother-in-law can be a donor. So far, the testing is going well, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.”
Karolina says one of the difficult things about working at DaVita was losing patients to a kidney transplant or death. She says getting to know Rogers’ patients and seeing their progress is very fulfilling.
“At Rogers, you see your patients get better,” she says. “You see them start when they’re not in a good place, and when they leave here, they’re doing so much better. They can go about their lives and have that sense of normalcy again.”
Getting to know Karolina
Something funny about Karolina is although she wears heels at work, when she is home wearing regular shoes and socks, she prefers mismatched socks.
“My husband will fold similar socks together, and I will separate them and throw them in the drawer,” Karolina says. “I’m picky though. Although I like them to be mismatched, they do have to be the same type of sock. I won’t wear a long sock with a short sock or a thick sock with a thin sock.”
Karolina has been married to her husband, Christopher, for two years. They’ve been together since 2012 and have an 8-month-old daughter, Brooke, along with a cat named “Pusheen,” which they named after a cartoon cat.
They don’t have any immediate travel plans but would love to return to Maui.