I was asked to chair the Network Human Experience Steering Committee and as requested, I read a grateful patient family letter at the end of the meeting. Moved by the written words, I had to reach out and extend my congratulations to Margaret and the 5PW Team on work very well done. It was crystal clear this team was fully engaged in the care of Mr. T and his family.
He mattered to them (all of them) and nothing was going to stand in their way of seeing this to the end. In essence, they worked collectively and wholeheartedly to extend their care and ensure all felt cared about –creating a fulfilling, meaningful environment for those on both sides of the human experience; ensuring engagement, appreciation, value, and voice.
They stand as a bright spot for Hackensack Meridian Health and role models for all of us to follow. For a cancer patient and their family, there are no perfect scenarios, there are no perfect moments, but in my mind's eye this team is about as close to perfection as one can get.
What makes it that way is a very simple, but often neglected element. None of them have lost sight of the importance of the human connection in collaboration with the science of healing and cure as well as the grace to accept our human limitations. Battling cancer demands an effort of the heart as well as the mind.
Coming to terms with journey's end demands resilience, empathy, and equal efforts of heart and mind. With their guidance, everything Mr. T and his family experienced during care and treatment provided the scientific answers to their questions, and for Mrs. T, the encouragement of heart needed to move forward after a profound loss - a perfect blend of the heart and the mind.
As a chief nurse executive, I believe I would be remiss in my duty if I did not recognize them. I'm not sure how often our frontline teams are aware of the degree and value their impact has on our patients and families.
But then again, perhaps this is what makes a great care provider— taking the time to invest in a patient's trust, all the while simply thinking that you are just doing your job. Every patient deserves an exceptional care team.
On behalf of myself, Mrs. T, and the many patients you have cared for and about and will continue to care for in the future; I thank you for your commitment to providing the best for our community –they deserve the best care, close to the comfort of their homes!
As a cancer survivor myself, if my journey had taken a different course these are exactly the professionals I would want caring for my family and me.