Employee Spotlight - Cynthia James

Photo of Cynthia James
Friday, April 30, 2021
What is your current role at Yale University?
My current role is that of Co-Interim Ambulatory Practice Administrator until the new Associate Director starts. At that point, I will return to my role of Clinical Operations Manager, Yale Cancer Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital.
What are your main responsibilities?
As the Interim Co-Practice Administrator, my responsibilities include managing the Ambulatory Clinical Operations so our patients will receive the highest quality of care. I collaborate with the YNHH Smilow Leadership, Yale Cancer Center, Yale Medicine, and Yale Medicine Physicians, to ensure our physicians have the adequate and appropriate administrative and operational resources they need to deliver quality patient centered care.
What do you like most about your work?
As a cancer patient myself, I can empathize with our patients and see how hard they are fighting their disease. I know how important the work here at Smilow is, and how dedicated the providers are to the mission, and their patients.
How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
I like coming to work everyday. I have made lasting friendships during my time here at Yale.
How did you begin your career?
I started working at a local hospital when I was a Junior in high school. I worked in patient accounts folding the bills and stuffing them in envelopes for mailing (that was before automation), and I worked through the ranks Front Desk Receptionist, Medical Assistant, Professional Coder, and eventually Manager.  
What steps would you recommend one take to prepare to enter this field?
I would recommend you like working with people first, and then take some courses at your local community college. Take advantage of all the opportunities that are offered to you here at Yale as an employee. We have some great resources and should utilize them. It is up to you, the individual, to be prepared and ready when the next opportunity comes.
What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration, and will graduate with my Master’s of Business Administration degree (MBA) next month, but the most important attributes are RESPECT and EMPATHY.
If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?
I would choose the same path working in healthcare. I would have finished school earlier, but I don’t have any regrets working in healthcare.
What does YAAA mean to you and how have you contributed as a member?
Being a member of YAAA is one of those valuable resources I was speaking of. It is a Yale community of African American men and women who share not just our ethnicity but share our place of employment. YAAA is a place we can support and lift each other, learn together, and embrace who we are. I have been able to attend more meeting because of zoom so that has been a plus for me. My favorite get together last year was the painting social.