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Placing Trust: A Conversation with Gina Cannatella

Acquiring and managing Advantage’s clients can be a demanding job. Vice President Gina Cannatella is up for the challenge, no matter the hour.

Gina Cannatella, Vice President of Advantage Medical Professionals, takes her job seriously. Her LinkedIn page is packed with achievements, endorsements, and rave reviews from colleagues, nurses, and clients. Certain themes pop up over and over in this mountain of praise: that she’s friendly and personable, that she’s professional and responsive, and that no matter what, you can count on her. In other words, the level of professionalism and support that is a standard at Advantage Medical Professionals comes naturally for Gina.

Gina also takes her job personally, devoting herself to her duties without restraint or remove. This passion is evident the moment she starts talking about her role at Advantage, where she’s responsible for client acquisition and relations: “It makes me feel so good when there’s a hospital in desperate need and we’re able to help them out. That’s the stuff that stays in the back of my head.”

At Advantage, there’s no such thing as a small client. “From huge conglomerations to tiny hospitals, we treat them all the same. We want to figure out how we can bring value and help them with the challenges they’re facing.” Every client they work with is a partnership – and with that comes the importance of understanding each client’s unique challenges in order to deliver the best service they can.

Last-Minute Needs

Over the past few years, Louisiana has witnessed a major transformation in healthcare, with mergers and acquisitions happening unlike ever before. Through it all, Advantage has remained committed to supporting their clients through the challenges they face, providing clinical support through per-diem, local contracts, and travel contracts.

There is perhaps no better example of this commitment than what occurred in late 2015 with a long-standing client in South Louisiana. While Gina has plenty of war stories, Gina recalls this specific instance as especially challenging for its sheer scope.

The client had just taken over ownership of a nearby hospital and now faced significant hurdles. But they knew one thing: they needed to get the facility up and running quickly. With overcrowding at another facility, they needed beds in the building as soon as possible—not fully knowing what other challenges they might face inside.

“We had more than twenty nurses supporting that transition. They were in the building in short order, once ownership changed over,” says Gina. At the peak of their need, Advantage was able to deliver with over 50 nurses, all while providing consistent communication to ensure their quality standards were met.

Trust and Communication

Healthcare staffing is a complicated field, filled with last-minute needs, personalities, and tons of moving parts—all held together by a thin thread of trust.

“I’m big on customer service, because our relationship with clients usually starts with me,” says Gina. “If I told our clients that nothing is ever going to go wrong, I’d be a liar. But what I can promise is that something goes wrong, we’ll be there to make it right.” And as a leader at Advantage Medical Professionals, Gina demands the same consistent level of service delivery from all of her team members.

Gina’s commitment to upholding her word—and Advantage’s reputation—seems to know no bounds. “There is no ‘after hours’ in my work,” she says. “I get calls at midnight, and I answer them. While our office is staffed with real live people 24/7/365, our management and executive team are also on call around the clock. And we sometimes find ourselves problem-solving together at odd hours through texts and emails. It’s how dedicated we are!”

As one may expect, it’s often Gina’s credibility that’s on the line with clients—a burden she bears proudly. “Service is the hardest thing you can sell,” she acknowledges. “People aren’t buying an object. They’re buying you. And so you’re taking a lot on your shoulders.” And while she admits that gratitude can be in short supply in such a fast-paced field, she does find comfort in her ongoing client relationships. “In our work, the thanks come when people continue to use your company.” And Gina notes that this is what makes her proud of her team.

Gina is able to find immense support within Advantage’s office. She credits her team with keeping her spirits up. “We’ve been in the trenches together,” she says. “We genuinely care about each other, and we’re able to make the job fun together”

Among the papers and equipment in Gina’s office, there’s one curious outlier: a piñata in the shape of a unicorn. Gina’s particularly fond of the mythical beasts, and likes to use the unicorn emoji in text exchanges. But the piñata is both a joke about how client services can sometimes be rough—like getting hit with plastic bats—and a nod to the rare temperament required to succeed in such a stressful role. A patient, caring, and passionate professional willing to answer the phone at three in the morning? That’s a unicorn right there.

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