Employee Heartbeat – A Perfect Referral

Patient Referral Liaison

Lead Patient Referral Liaison finds perfect fit at Bethany Children’s after referral from fellow nursing student

At Bethany Children’s Health Center, our employees truly are the heartbeat that drives the organization. Every day, through the care and service they provide, they live our mission of maximizing the potential of every child and exemplify our core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, service and stewardship. We hope you enjoy getting to know our amazing employees through our Heartbeat profiles.

This month we are recognizing the incredible Referral team at Bethany Children’s Health Center and their diligence in ensuring patients who need our services get the help they need.

Micha Higdon has felt called to nursing since her childhood.  The Registered Nurse and Lead Patient Referral Liaison at Bethany Children’s Health Center recalls, “We did a fundraiser for St. Jude’s in the third grade, and I remember that being the first time I knew I wanted to go into a field where I could help other kids and families.”

As a young girl growing up in Calumet, Oklahoma, Micha was inspired by her mom’s pursuit of a nursing career. “She had such a passion for it that I was encouraged to follow in her footsteps.”

Fellow nursing student, Jessica Gore, encouraged Micha to look at Bethany Children’s, and although her focus was on pediatric nursing, Micha was afraid working with the patient population at Bethany Children’s might be too difficult. She decided to learn more about the Hospital and applied when she graduated in 2016.

“As we were walking through the halls during my tour, I knew I belonged here,” she says. “The staff, the kiddos, the Hospital as a whole – I fell in love.”

Today, as a referral liaison, Micha is often the face and first impression of the Hospital for referral sources and families in need.

“When we receive a call for a referral to our Hospital, I gather the information needed to present to our Referral team. From there, I will relay information back and forth between hospitals, talk with the family about our services, and see the patient at bedside if indicated. I also get to talk about our programs and educate referral sources about the services that we offer,” she explains.

One of those calls was from Amy Jones, whose daughter, Tellisa, had suffered a ruptured AVM while at home in Las Vegas. The acute care hospital there recommended that Talisa be discharged to a nursing home, with little hope for improvement or recovery, but Amy was determined to get Tellisa into a rehab program.  Micha listened to her story and said, “let me see what I can do.”

“Amy said that I was the first person to say those words. Everyone else just said ‘no’,” says Micha. “I think that speaks volumes about our culture because with every patient, our first question is always ‘How can we help?’ It was a long, hard process but we got Tellisa here from the hospital in Las Vegas and she thrived!”

For Micha, knowing that she plays a part in helping a child reach their maximum potential is most rewarding.

“In my position, I often see kids at such a vulnerable time in their life. To help get them here so our dedicated team can start working with them is amazing,” she shares. “It’s almost overwhelming to see what a difference we make from the very first time I see a patient to their discharge parade. We do amazing work!”

Fun Facts:

Something you might not know: “I won a State Championship in Class A Basketball in high school.”

Home life: “I married my husband, Forrest, in 2016. We have an {almost} three-year-old little boy, Cooper, and are expecting another little boy, Cort, just in time for Christmas. We also have 2 dogs, Hank and Birdie.”

First job: “A waitress at our family restaurant, Johnnies Grill, where we served fried onion burgers. Sometimes, I think I still smell like fried onions!”

Favorite ways to spend free time: At the lake with friends and family.

Favorite verse: “Patience is not something that comes easy for me, so I am constantly referring back to Isaiah 60:22 – When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”

Favorite food: “Italian-give me all of the pasta and pizza!”

From the bucket list: “I’d love to visit Egypt, although I’m not sure I could last on a plane for that long.”

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