When you have an important question that you need the answer to, who do you call?
Maybe you ask a friend or relative if they know the answer. Maybe you get online and search the internet.
But what if your question is something about health care in Globe or Miami, or about local social services? What if you need to know about housing, or would like help with a financial issue? These are systems that can be hard to navigate and find the reliable information you need.
When you have questions like these, there’s someone right here in town you can call—our own local form of Google. Her name is Margo Badilla.
Margo is the voice behind One Call, a free service from the Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center. The hospital created the service to solve a problem: They were receiving many calls from people who needed information or assistance.
Can you help me find an ophthalmologist?
My dad is having surgery, and I can’t be in town to help—how is he going to get from the hospital back home?
—and many more questions like these.
Often, the callers would have to be transferred from department to department at the hospital before they got the answers they needed. It was time consuming and frustrating for everyone.
With One Call, answers to all sorts of questions are available in one place. Margo often knows the answer herself, and if she doesn’t, she will find out. She keeps track of questions and answers in a computer spreadsheet and is adding to it all the time.
The idea for the One Call program came from a health needs assessment that the hospital conducted in 2013. According to Evelyn Vargas, Public Relations Director at CVRMC, the assessment showed that people were getting lost in the health care and community services systems and couldn’t find the answers they needed. Roseanne Garcia, the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, had seen a program similar to One Call when she worked at Tucson Medical Center, and suggested CVRMC start a similar program.
The hospital conducted a long search to find the person with just the right combination of skills and personality for the position, Vargas said. In September, they found Margo.
Margo’s background and personality make her specially qualified to be the voice of One Call. She’s an RN with experience in home health and hospice nursing. She founded Copper Communities Hospice and operated it for six years. Margo says her experience running the hospice and the extensive community connections she made during that time helped her transition to becoming the One Call coordinator. “Because obviously community is what this is all about,” she says. “It really laid a solid foundation for what I do now.” To increase her skills, Margo will be taking classes online beginning this summer toward becoming a nurse practitioner.
Margo is originally from Scotland and was a professional singer for ten years, before she went to nursing school. She moved to Globe 14 years ago with her ex-husband and says it took a long time for her to get used to Globe, because it was so different from Scotland. “Definitely a culture shock,” she says—“it was the total opposite of Scotland.” She has three children and four “fur babies”—her three cats and one dog. She’s engaged to be married in June.
“I love Globe now,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine not being here. I think it’s because if you get involved with the community, you then feel part of the community.”
Margo’s title is Referral Coordinator. After she was hired, she began to attend community meetings and make presentations to let people know about One Call. The program was introduced gradually to let Margo start to develop her database of information. At first there were only four or five calls a week—but now Margo receives ten to fifteen calls every day. Questions like,
Do we have any local transportation that can pick me up and take me to the grocery store?
I’m having trouble paying my utility bill—is there any help available?
Can you help me find a dog groomer?
Margo is happy to answer questions even when they aren’t related to health care or community services. She even gets calls from visitors to the area asking for restaurant or hotel recommendations.
Last spring the hospital began to promote the program with a billboard and advertising at grocery stores. Margo says the grocery store advertising led to one of the strangest questions she ever received. One weekend she received a voice mail on the One Call line from a young man who said he was at Fry’s and asked Margo to arrange a van to take him and fifteen of his friends to a concert in Phoenix. “If I couldn’t get them a van, an SUV would be fine,” Margo remembers. “I called back but the number wasn’t working.” She guesses he had seen an A-frame advertising the One Call service at Fry’s.
Usually the questions Margo receives are not so strange, but they do cover a wide variety of topics. “I get a lot of questions like what physicians are taking patients, do they accept such and such insurance—these are the most popular ones I get,” she says. Transportation is another popular subject. “We do have a lack of local transportation for our patients. I get common ones like my dad’s going in for surgery, as an outpatient, but how can he get back to his house?”
“I get a lot of frequent flyers,” Margo says. She says some of them are elderly people who live alone. “They’re calling in just to say hi, and honestly if I didn’t hear from them every now and again I would be, like, okay, I have to call them, just to make sure they’re okay.”
Vargas says that when Margo receives questions about local businesses, she gives several suggestions, and this helps the community economically. When visitors to town call One Call, “their first impression through talking to Margo is this is a great community,” Vargas said. “This is a community that helps and cares.”
Margo’s database of information allows her to answer most questions immediately. Sometimes she has to do some research, and when that happens she adds the new information to her spreadsheet so she can answer the question easily next time. She attends community meetings every week, and this helps her stay current on resources in the area. “I have my finger on the community pulse,” she says.
The number for One Call is (928) 402-1111, and Margo is there Monday through Friday. She says she hasn’t had a question yet that stumped her. “My model is there’s always a solution for everything, there really is,” she says.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to dig a little deeper to find the answer, but there’s always, always a solution.”
Patricia Sanders lived in Globe from 2004 to 2008 and at Reevis Mountain School, in the Tonto National Forest, from 2008 to 2014. She has been a writer and editor for GMT since 2015. She currently lives on Santa Maria island in the Azores.