The value of building community


As a manager of one of Bupa’s Health Insurance stores, Lisa Reppin supports many Mt Gambier locals through the highs and lows of life. She reflects on the privilege of supporting customers through challenging times. 

Written by Lisa Reppin

Lisa Reppin, Store Leader, Bupa Mt GambierToday while sitting in my office at Bupa’s Mt Gambier store, I could hear lots of laughter coming from out the front. A regular customer and his wife were just passing by and stopped for a chat. These customers have been with us since they married and, now both aged 83, they’ve each had their own cancer journeys and health issues.

Last year Mrs K was unwell and in hospital after being diagnosed with bowel cancer, waiting to be transferred to Adelaide by air ambulance for treatment. Her husband was understandably lost, and unsure what he needed to do, his first thought was to make the trip to our store.

He just needed to talk. We listened and then helped him find accommodation in Adelaide close to the hospital, so he could be near his wife.

It’s so wonderful that he knew he could come to us and we would be able to help. As a manager I couldn’t be prouder of my team and the relationships they build in the local community. The K’s have no family here; all their children have moved away with their own families so it’s nice to know we could be there in some way.

We have travelled the cancer journey with them, helping with providers and aids, helping with forms and just being a listening ear.

We are truly lucky to be able to get to know our customers, pick up the conversation from their last visit and check in, add their partners and new born babies to their policies and watch them grow.

We also get the privilege of crying with them when a loved one has passed away and holding their hand.

There are times like today, when Mr and Mrs K come in to have a laugh and catch up. Other times they’re upset, it's a difficult journey they’re on. In those moments we have this opportunity to sit down with them face to face and just talk. Or help them navigate through whatever they are concerned about. It’s an amazing part of the job that we get to have this opportunity to connect in this way with our customers.