Adventist Health Leaders Connect With Patients

October 10, 2019 | Health | Adam Lee

When we think of patient care in a hospital, we often think of doctors and nurses. But Adventist Health Portland leaders recognize that creating the best experience possible for patients is the responsibility of every hospital employee.

In an effort to increase the level of involvement from all departments, leaders from across the organization have committed to a new process that will allow them to create personal connections with patients each day. “Sometimes as leaders in nonclinical departments we start to lose our connection with the patients we’re here to serve,” says Joyce Newmyer, Adventist Health Portland president.

Beginning in September, leaders have volunteered to take on three to four specific patient rooms in the hospital. Each weekday the leader visits these patient rooms to welcome the patient, share a note of encouragement and offer prayer.

“Leader welcome visits are a chance for our associates to remember why we do what we do. In a day packed with meetings and tasks, spending a few moments with patients grounds our work and is a meaningful chance to reconnect with our mission to provide health, wholeness and hope,” explains Newmyer.

Patients have noticed the new practice and have been reacting positively. Eleasa Norris, diagnostic and imaging manager, says she visited a patient who has been in and out of hospitals for years. The patient told her, “This is the best hospital I have ever been in. The people really care about me, and it shows.”

Norris also talks about visiting a patient who was in the hospital for more than a week. This patient looked forward to the daily visits and notes of encouragement. At the end of her stay, she told Norris she was inspired to return to school to become a nurse because of the care she received at Adventist Health Portland.

A hospital stay can be a scary and lonely experience. Small interactions like caring visits from leaders help patients feel heard and loved during a particularly vulnerable time in their lives. And for staff, these visits have quickly become an irreplaceable opportunity to connect with their reason for being in health care and their personal mission to be the healing hands of Jesus through every facet of their workday.