“I feel so lucky to work in such a friendly, supportive environment”
When you visit Harley Street Fertility Clinic, you will most probably meet Joana, our Head Receptionist. It’s impossible to not notice her. She is an absolute beauty. Blonde, tall, slim, with a beautiful smile and impeccable clothes, looking straight out of a magazine. And what makes her extra special to us and our patients is her kindness.
Joana is part of the Harley Street Fertility Clinic family and here is her story.
Listen to Joana’s podcast here:
Joining the HSFC family
“I joined the HSFC family in May 2019. I started as a full-time receptionist and within 3 months I got promoted to Head of Reception,” Joana starts her story. Joana previously worked in hospitals and private clinics in Albania, and she was looking for a similar position in London. “When I saw the job advert for HSFC, I visited their website and noticed it’s a family-run clinic, committed to its patients. I thought I would be more comfortable working in such a place, so I decided to apply,” Joana continues. With no experience of working in the UK, Joana knew that getting a job for the first time in this country was going to be difficult. And applying to one of the leading fertility clinics in London was exciting.
“I remember, when coming for the interview, telling our General Manager and Patient Coordinator, to give me an opportunity to show them what I can do, to show them my abilities and my true potential,” Joana recalls. After the interview, Suvir, the General Manager, called her straight away to offer her the job.
Who is Joana?
Joana and her family came to the UK almost 2 years ago.
“I was born in Albania and grew up in Greece, so I have double nationality. Both are extremely beautiful countries, located in Southern Europe.”
Joana is a mother herself. She has 2 beautiful daughters who are 7 and 4. “Coming to the UK was one of the most difficult decisions my husband and I had to take,” says Joana. “We did it for our girls, because we want them to have a bright future.”
Joana feels that all the sacrifices she and her husband made to come to the UK were worth it, seeing how quickly the girls adapted to their new life, becoming now fluent English speakers.
Joana studied International Relations and she has 2 Master Degrees, in Diplomacy, and International and European Law.
“When we were told to stay at home, it was unexpected,” Joana says. “We understood we had to go through these uncertain and difficult times, and the best way to protect our patients and ourselves was to stay at home,” she continues.
Joana is trying to make the best use of her unexpected free time. She spends her time with her family, playing with the girls, cooking, helping them do their school work. “I try to improve my knowledge about fertility especially about IVF treatment and I’ve already read 3 books on the subject,” Joana declares. She wishes to be more helpful to the patients and be as informative as she can to address their questions about fertility services when they visit the clinic. She hopes that everyone makes the most of the lockdown and spends it in the most productive way.
Being part of the HSFC family
“I would like to say a huge thank you to our Director, Dr. Geetha Venkat and General Manager, Dr. Suvir Venkataraman, who believed in me, trusted me and gave me the chance to be part of their admin team, part of the family. I feel lucky to work in such a friendly environment. Dr. Venkat is such a lovely person to work with. She is a brilliant doctor, with a long experience in fertility treatments. I am honoured to work by her side. I always tell Dr. Venkat that I am amazed by her energy and passion she has for her work. Although she is extremely busy, she is always trying to accommodate all the patients’ needs, helping every single one of them fulfilling their dream of having a family.”
Joana would also like to mention her colleagues, “friendly and supportive since the first day I started working at HSFC. I now consider all of them as my friends.”
Joana hopes that the lockdown will not last much longer. She is looking forward to seeing again her colleagues, and the patients that are waiting for the clinic to reopen and to start their treatment.
“I hope every one of you takes care and stays safe,” finishes Joana.
Special messages for Joana from her “family”
We asked a few of Joana’s colleagues and patients, her “extended family”, to say a few words about her. Here is what they said.
Stephen, receptionist at HSFC: “Joana is lovely to work with, she is a complete professional, always paying attention, with work constantly on her mind. She is also very thoughtful, a perfect colleague to help keep the spirits up through the week. I feel privileged to be working with her and happy to see her recognised in this way.”
Margherita, nurse at HSFC: “Joana is a great colleague, very good in what she does. She is reliable, and she likes things done, that’s why I like to work with her. She has the right attitude at work, I love her enthusiasm and I do trust her.”
Adrian, theatre nurse at HSFC: “I’ve known Joana for a year. She is an asset for the clinic, she is very keen to details, she ensures things are done right for the patients on the admin side.”
Charlotte, patient HSFC: “Joana has been lovely. When we are coming for our appointments she is a happy, warm, smiling face that greets us. If I have any issue, sometimes she minds the email desk and she’s being very helpful getting back to us with any queries that we might have. A big thank you to Joana for all her help, thank you so much!”
Daisy, patient at HSFC: “I have been an HSFC patient for a few years and I am currently pregnant. Joana has been amazing all the way through, she really helps lighten up the mood whenever you see her at Reception desk. When I pick up the phone and call HSFC and Joana answers, she is always like “Hi darling, how are you?” When I was sad, annoyed, or irritated, she would pull me out of the reception and gave me the biggest hug. She was always so excited about my pregnancy. I took pregnancy tests way before I was meant to, and Joana was one of the first people I showed, and she was ecstatic, was excited, really excited. Every single time I phoned, she told me ‘Send us photos, send us photos, we can’t wait to meet her!’ Joana is lighting up the place.”
When you call Harley Street Fertility Clinic on 020 7436 6838 or email [email protected], Joana might answer your call or reply to your emails. She does it with the same lovely smile, kindness and friendliness as she does in person. Although you cannot always see her smile, you can feel it. Our beautiful, precious Joana.