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The Parking Professional: What is your current position with St. Louis Children's Hospital? How long have you been there? What do you like most about your job?
Taryn Prince: Currently, I am the Parking, Valet and Transportation Supervisor for the Department of Public Safety. I have been a part of the organization for more than 14 years. The parking environment is very dynamic. I am part of a wonderful team that manages multiple garages, valet and shuttle services. There are so many factors to consider especially in a pediatric facility. We try to provide Superior Patient Experiences (SPE) to our patients, visitors and family members. When you visit St. Louis Children's Hospital, the last thing we want you to worry about is parking.
TPP: Briefly tell us about the hospital's parking operations.
TP: St. Louis Children's Hospital Parking, Valet and Transportation Department includes administrative and operational oversight for employee and visitor parking, valet and patient and family shuttle services. Campus wide our shuttles service thousands of employees daily. We try to get everyone to their destination in a safe and timely manner. Recently, we adapted a new Parking Management System that includes Parking Pay-On-Foot Stations. The pay stations are strategically located in a centralized location designed to provide a more efficient method for our visitors to exit our public garage.
TPP: What's the biggest challenge facing the hospital's parking operations?
TP: Change. Our main goal is to provide the best parking, valet and transportation experience to patients, visitors and family members. Introducing and implementing new innovative parking ideas can be a little scary to our staff, patients, visitors and family members.
TPP: How are you working to overcome this challenge?
TP: We overcome challenges by following two basic principles: we are not afraid to make mistakes and communication is very important. Employees are our first line of defense. We communicate effectively with our staff in order for employees to be aware and knowledgeable about upcoming changes to better assist our customers. We pilot ideas before we actually implement the changes. We welcome feedback. We host town hall meetings and organize councils that include family members, we will use this input to improve our processes going forward.
TPP: Everyone has a unique story about how they got into parking. What's yours?
TP: Unfortunately, I don't have a unique story about how I got into parking. With every opportunity I've had, I always had the mindset that I am here to serve our customers. Our customers include employees, patients, visitors and family members. I take that belief with me everyone where ever I go.
TPP: What's the most interesting parking story you can share?
TP: Initially, we had pay on foot stations located in our hospital lobby areas. With our new parking management system software I was able to track and manage aspects of parking operations by providing information and detailed reports on demand. The reports demonstrated that our visitor's volumes were significantly higher on a particular pay on foot station. We analyzed the data, monitored the areas and decided that location was everything. We relocated the pay on foot stations and now both machines are utilized successfully and we were able to maximize the level of customer service we deliver to our customers.
TPP: What is something about you that might surprise people?
TP: I don't see a glass ceiling, the sky is the limit. I can get ideas from anywhere at anytime. I will write ideas on napkins, handkerchiefs or post its. Not every idea is put into place but I will keep the information just in case I need to refer to it later for another project. I continue to explore opportunities for continuous improvement of our respective operations.