Mary Platter is a senior accountant in the UC Department of Emergency Medicine. She’s been with University of Cincinnati Physicians 12 years, working first on the Dean’s Audit for UCP and currently with emergency medicine in the department’s business office.
In addition to her billing work, she recently experienced health care from the patient perspective, after donating a kidney to her cousin this winter.
What’s your role in the department of emergency medicine?
"There are only two of us here in the business office. My day-to-day responsibilities include accounts receivable, accounts payable, journals, budgets, supplies—a little bit of everything. I wear I don’t know how many different hats, but we all do that over here."
What’s your favorite part of your job?
"I love all the people I work with. Honestly, I don’t think I could work for a better department. We all say that here; it’s a really good department to work for.
"Since I started, it’s grown a lot. We’re busting out of the walls—we have people in the MSB, in Wherry Hall and we have people moving to Holmes."
Can you tell us about your life outside UC?
"I’ll have been married 40 years in April; I have two children, a boy and a girl, and four grandchildren, all boys. I live in Deer Park, by Kenwood. My dad grew up there and my kids both went to the same high school I went to.
"On the weekends, my husband and I drive to Lake Erie. We own a boat and we keep it up on the lake and we’ll go up, get a cabin and go fishing. We used to have a camp on the Ohio River when our kids were young. Now we’ve had this boat probably four or five years, though we haven’t named it yet. We have a bird we haven’t named either—we just call it bird. We did name our dogs, Sydney and Scrappy."
How did you end up donating your kidney?
"I donated it to my first cousin, Tim. His dad and my dad were identical twins, so when I found out he needed a kidney, I figured there might be a good chance I could be a match. We come from a really big family with about 40 first cousins, so several of us got tested.
"We were all matches, but I was the one most comfortable with the donation. Your whole family also has to be on board or they will not choose you.
"My surgery was right before Christmas, on Tuesday, Dec. 20. I really wasn’t nervous. My husband and daughter-in-law and son were there and Tim was right across the hallway. I was totally at peace with it and wasn’t worried at all. I was home that Thursday and Tim was home by Christmas.
"Before the surgery, we only saw each other at family reunions, but I talk with him almost weekly now. We talk probably more now than the entire time that we’ve known each other. He has diabetes and he’s 10 years younger than me. He also needs a pancreas and he’s on the list for that.
"I followed Tanya O’Rourke’s story of donating her kidney on WCPO. I even wrote her a letter thanking her for covering it—they recorded the transplant and have it online. Tim and I had the same surgeons and it was really cool to be able to see the process and what happens."
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