Blue Devil of the Week: Treating Patients Like Family

Chris Bostic makes positivity a priority at Duke Health Center’s Roxboro Road clinic

Chris Bostic makes sure patients at Duke Health Center on Roxboro Road are greeted with cheerful warmth.
Chris Bostic makes sure patients at Duke Health Center on Roxboro Road are greeted with cheerful warmth. Photo by Stephen Schramm.

Name: Chris Bostic

Position: Patient Service Associate, Duke Health Center, Roxboro Road clinic

Years at Duke: 14

What he does at Duke: As the first person patients and families see upon entering the clinic, Bostic checks them in, gets insurance information, makes sure the proper charts get into the proper hands and reminds patients of upcoming appointments. Beyond that, he aims to make experiences at the clinic a positive one. He ensures the waiting area is clean and that young patients have crayons and paper while they wait.

With around 300 patients a day coming through the clinic, it’s a big job.

“You just approach each patient like they’re family,” Bostic said.

What he loves about Duke: Bostic started out filing medical records. A few years ago, his position was eliminated. With the help of supportive co-workers and doctors who didn’t want to see him go, he was able to move into his current role.

“You can go so far, it can take you so many places,” Bostic said of Duke. “… They have been supportive to me from day one.”

A memorable day at work: Bostic had an aunt who moved out of state and left behind an unused walker. Wanting to put it to good use, he approached a supervisor.

“I told her that I really want this walker to go to a family that’s in need,” Bostic said. “Probably a few days later, a person came by and said that she had to put her husband in a facility because he couldn’t get around the house. I donated it to them. It was the right size, it was brand new, everything went well. Of course, in the lobby, the woman just broke down.”

A special object/memorabilia at work: On a lanyard around his neck, Bostic keeps his DukeCard and a clear plastic case that’s emblazoned with several dozen brass star pins, each representing praise from a patient.

“It’s just saying that someone wrote something about you, that you went beyond the call of duty and they want to recognize you by giving them a star,” Bostic said.

The stars around his neck are just one piece of a larger collection. He has two sets of stars he doesn’t wear.

“I don’t want to look like Mr. T!” Bostic said. “That’s too much.”

First ever job: Bostic worked in housekeeping at a hotel for nine years. He said working alongside people of different backgrounds left a major impression on him.

“We’re all human,” he said. “Respect is a big word that I live for every single day. You don’t know what somebody else is going through. I took that and I ran with it.”

Best advice received: When he first came to the Roxboro Road clinic, his magnetic personality won him many friends. Seeing that, his supervisor told him that he should channel that popularity into setting a positive example for his co-workers.

“She came to me and said, ‘With great power comes great responsibility,’” Bostic said. “She said you have a gift, use that gift wisely. From that day forward, I stick by it.”

Something most people don’t know about him: Bostic is known for his cooking. Staff events usually feature a few of his dishes and at least one of his home-baked cakes.

“I have my co-workers so spoiled,” Bostic said.

But he said, at home, his tastes are much simpler.

“I love pasta,” Bostic said. “Everything pasta, I love pasta. I could eat it maybe three times a week.”

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