Mission in Action
Our organization collects statistics, sets goals and watches our financial performance and quality scores, but when we tell others about our work and our workplace, we almost always turn to the real-life stories of care in action.
You might think that, after nearly 20 years of collecting and sharing these examples of outstanding care, there would be no stories left to tell. But, Floyd is a mission-guided organization committed to preserving personal dignity. Whether providing shoes for a homeless man in the emergency room, baptizing a man in the Intensive Care Unit, or making a banana pudding for the spouse of a patient, there are most definitely stories to tell. And, each one of those stories shares a common theme of people investing in the lives of other people in a manner that preserves and even celebrates their personal dignity.
That is certainly the story of Jennifer Waters. Jennifer is the organizer and air traffic controller of Floyd’s outpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation center. Jennifer never says “can’t” or “won’t.” She’s a problem solver and motivator to excellence, and always with a genuine smile.
She and her husband care for her brother, Shane, who has spina bifida. Shane depends on a wheelchair for mobility and his family for personal care. Jennifer’s husband, Chris, is Shane’s primary physical support, and that has taken a toll on Chris’ shoulders. The daily strain had resulted in a need for surgery on both shoulders. This would incapacitate Shane’s helper and reduce the Waters’ income at a time when they needed it. The Waters had already moved from a larger home to a smaller, more affordable, one-bathroom house. Jennifer was overwhelmed.
Culture of Caring
For the past two decades, Floyd has nurtured a culture of family and caring for our coworkers. So, when Karen Sablon and Sean Higgins discovered the reason for Jennifer’s tears, it wasn’t information they could dismiss. Both lost sleep that night, moved by their coworker’s need. They had to do something.
That next morning, Sean asked Jennifer for her address and her door key. She suspected she’d come home to dinner or maybe a grocery delivery, but the plan was much bigger than food assistance. When she came home, Sean and John Adams, both customer liaisons, along with an assembled a crew of physical therapists and athletic trainers, had begun gutting Jennifer’s bathroom. Later that week, volunteer contractors and equipment suppliers replaced Jennifer’s old bathroom with a brand-new, wheelchair-accessible space Shane could navigate and use in private.
The outstanding act may have been a construction project, but the result for Shane was our mission in action.
For the first time in over two years, Shane had privacy. The volunteers may have remodeled a bathroom, but they did much more, Jennifer said. They gave Shane the gift of dignity.