Cynthia Collins, a patient access specialist, greets all comers with a smile at Mammography Imaging.
Cynthia Collins, a patient access specialist, greets all comers with a smile at Mammography Imaging.
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People of the U: Cynthia Collins

Published on Thursday, October 24, 2019

By: Ruth Cummins

In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, Cynthia Collins takes care of the women getting mammograms at the Jackson Medical Mall.

“I’m the first face they see when they enter the doors,” said Collins, a patient access specialist in Mammography Imaging. “The first thing I do is greet them with a smile and help them to feel at home.”

At the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Collins has been a familiar face for 18 years in both mammography and radiology. She tries to be empathetic with patients at a time that can be frightening for them.

“You never know what people are going through,” she said. “I try to put God first in everything I do, because without him, I can’t do anything.”

Collins “treats every single patient as if they are her family,” said Jill Bayles, manager of Ultrasound and Mammography. “She talks to them as if she has known them her whole life.  I have never seen Mrs. Cynthia without a smile on her face, or heard her say one negative comment about anything or anyone.”

Collins meets the mammography patients where they are, and takes it from there.

“You hear their stories,” Collins said. “I’ll talk with them and give them encouragement. Some of them have breast cancer. I tell them to keep on keeping on, and to keep God first.”

Bayles said Collins takes care not just of the patients, but of their loved ones.

“She entertains the family members of our patients while they are in the waiting room, and she loves the children that come with our patients,” Bayles said. “Just this week, I overheard her going over colors and numbers with a small child in the waiting room.  She was almost more excited than the child when she learned the correct color and number.”

Collins is especially heartened when women who have received mammograms stop by to see her when they’re at the Medical Mall for a different appointment. “They’ve told me, ‘They have the right person at the front desk,’” Collins said.

And then, there are sad moments when Collins finds out that a patient has passed away. That’s when she relies on her faith.

Work keeps her busy, but so do her church family and her immediate family that includes a daughter and grandsons ages 4 and 2. At Progressive Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson, she wears many hats: usher, choir member, deaconess, and member of the Women of Purpose ministry.

Married since 1999, she and Walter received good advice when they tied the knot.

“On Fridays, we have date night and go to a movie, or out to dinner,” she said. “The minister told us to always do the things that you did when you were dating.”

Collins, in a word, is “wonderful,” Bayles said.

“She is a joy to work beside every day,” Bayles said. “We are so thankful for her and her commitment to our department and our patients.”

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