People Can Feel Your Smile on the Phone – Episode 398

Health, Hope & Inspiration

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Featuring: Eric Johnson

Published: December 23, 2023

I’m committed to making every cancer patient feel important!

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Show Notes:

Over the many years of interviewing members of the cancer community, I’ve never had the privilege of chatting with one who supports cancer patients in the health care setting via phone communication. As we all have experienced since COVID, it is very rare these days to speak to a live person on a help line, let alone get caring and compassionate customer service.

Today’s discussion takes place with City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Eric Johnson, who is an outbound hospital scheduler. Though his title may seem less impressive than that of physician or nurse, rest assured his point of contact for patients who must schedule testing, scans, and follow-up appointments plays an impactful role by setting the table for the rest of a cancer patient’s experience as they reenter the hospital environment.

Eric’s personal commitment of using the power of his voice is best understood when he says, “The tone and attitude that one has when engaging the patient is, I believe, the most important part of the phone call. It’s a way to make [patients] feel like when they talk to you that there’s hope.”


  • “[When speaking with cancer patients] I get grateful from their strength. I get grateful from their laughter. It puts things in perspective for me as far as life is concerned.”
  • “My father passed away from prostate cancer at the age of 62.”
  • “It’s important, with the background I have, that the patient is loved, that the patient is cared for, that the patient feels like they can make it through.”

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