Every part of a patient’s experience with our organization is dependent on a series of responsibilities and handoffs. It’s teamwork at its very best.
From physician to pharmacist and nurse to catering associate and from coordinated care to environmental services and auditors to attorneys, all roles are dependent on others. Over the past several months the fiscal services team has affirmed its link to environmental services in a quiet series of acts of compassion that beautifully demonstrate the teamwork at Floyd.
While the accountants and staff in fiscal services are working diligently on budgets and accounts payable and receivable, they are supported by a regular housekeeper who makes sure trash bins are emptied, bathrooms are clean and floors are vacuumed. We’ll call her Betty. Betty is quiet. She keeps to herself and is always humble. She may not have realized it, but she also made a great impact on the fiscal services team she supported until she was in need of support herself.
Betty has been diagnosed with cancer not long after her life-long companion, Joe, was similarly diagnosed. When Betty’s radiation treatments began to take their toll and Joe lost a foot due to complications from diabetes, she had to step away from her job. She was immediately missed, and members of the accounting department knew it was their time to support Betty.
The assistance started with a simple act of generosity. Knowing she’d be out of work, members of the department donated money to help Betty pay her bills, but several department members have gone the extra mile. Sherry Herring and Libby Burkhalter have driven Betty to doctor appointments and shopped for groceries for her. David Johnson and Sherry’s husband, Brad, have taken over yard work for Betty and Joe at their home.
Not long ago Joe became very sick, and Betty turned to the only people she could think of to call: Sherry and Libby. One drove Joe to the hospital, while the other stayed with Betty. A few days later, Betty herself began to grow weak. She called Sherry, who drove her to be admitted to the hospital. Later, when Sherry checked to see if the couple had any needs, Betty didn’t ask for help, but she did mention that her head stayed cold. It didn’t take long for Sherry to show up at Betty’s bedside with a selection of bonnets and head warmers for her friend. That care is continuing, even now.
It turns out that these accountants and their fiscal services associates, who are about as far removed from patient care as you can be in health care, share a heart of compassion with the clinicians they support. They help Betty because she’s as important a player in our mission as anyone. She’s part of the team. They help her because they care about her.