Kelly Walker’s “why”

At Parkview, our patients are at the heart of everything we do. Our purpose – our organization’s “why” – is apparent in our mission and vision, as well as in our promise to provide excellent care for every person every day. While many of the people we serve may not be familiar with our mission, vision or promise, they certainly can observe our commitment through our actions.

Focusing on who we are and why we’re here is essential to serving others with excellence and creating a memorable patient experience. We want to deliver on our promise in such a way that it’s as if we’re serving a member of our own family.

Parkview is blessed with so many amazing people who have taken up the special calling to care for others, with all of the challenges that may bring. It is because of those challenges that a person’s “why” is so incredibly important.

The why is the very reason you come to work and do your job every day. It is the reason behind your actions and service to others. A why may be a person. Or a value. Where do you look for strength and inspiration when caring for others?

Recently, Parkview provided co-workers with an avenue to share their why. To celebrate Patient Experience Week (April 22-26), Service Excellence champions from across Parkview Health launched the “Why card,” a badge card designed to remind caregivers of who inspires them to provide excellent care.

This optional badge card prompts team members to identify the person who is their why and write that person’s relationship to them, such as “child” or “brother,” or the individual's name. The project keeps our caregivers’ inspiration close to their hearts, in more ways than one.

Kelly’s “why”

“My sister-in-law, Latasha, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer (Metaplastic Squamous Cell Carcinoma) in August 2016, at the age of 43. ‘You have cancer.’ The three little words that changed her life and her family’s lives forever.

She had a mastectomy, and then began the long road of chemotherapy and radiation over the next two years. In addition to her cancer diagnosis, she also battled end-stage renal disease.  Not only did she have ongoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but she also went to kidney dialysis appointments three times a week. She had wonderful doctors and nurses that assisted and cared for her during her journey, but sadly her type of breast cancer was rare, metastasized, and was non-responsive to any current treatments available.

Latasha was a fighter, a fun-loving spirit with the gift of having an enormous giving and caring heart. She was an inspiration to me because she never gave up hope and kept the most amazing positive attitude even when I knew she was overwhelmed and terrified. During the darkest of days, she kept a smile on her face. Her way of coping was to keep a daily journal of her thoughts and also keep her faith close to her heart.

Latasha passed away on December 22, 2018, surrounded by her family, doctor and nurses. She was truly loved by everyone that she met and is dearly missed.

It was extremely heartbreaking to watch Latasha go through so much suffering and pain at such a young age. It is my greatest honor to display her name on my badge, which I wear on my left side, closest to my heart. I will continue her legacy and know her spirit is always with me.

Latasha is a big part of my inspiration to do what I do each day in our Parkview Cancer Institute. She was a ray of sunshine in everyone’s day and truly is an angel who continues to watch over us all."

 

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