In this Faces of Caring blog post, Darcy Dye Bowers, APR, senior public relations and communications manager at Transitions LifeCare, shares how her colleagues have put their faces of caring out in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
#COVID19: a hashtag I’d like to remove from my daily life forever; however, as a communications professional who creates social content for an end-of-life organization, this wish will not soon be realized. Enter #hapcFacesOfCaring. I LOVE using this hashtag and reading related stories because the related content shows gratitude, hope, and grit.
Our examples of #hapcFacesOfCaring? Appreciation yard signs. A POP-UP food pantry. A Zoom visit from Reba McEntire. None of these would have happened during “normal” times.
Early in the pandemic, our provider relations team, frustrated at not being able to visit and provide in-person support to our facility partners, came up with a different way to stay connected: appreciation yard signs that now pepper our eight-county service area. Large health care systems had banners and signs, but many of our local, independent facilities that were on the front lines of COVID-19 outbreaks and media scrutiny weren’t seeing visible signs of support. The image to the right is a collage of just a few of the encounters. Responses? “Amazing!” “Thanks for taking the time to provide this personal touch!”
Our POP-UP Food Pantry shows full circle how a community can come together quickly. Our volunteer services team leader implemented this in no time and here’s how it works: volunteers who can no longer visit patients in their homes are driving food donations to our office two times a week. Nurse aides whose regular hours have been reduced receive the food, clean it, sort it, then package it into kits for patients and their families based on food preferences and needs. They then deliver to patients who are currently not receiving food from other community resources. Thus, we’re keeping people employed and engaged while maintaining a connection with patients and their families.
And Reba? No way would we have had a personal Zoom visit from Reba McEntire if not for COVID-19. Thanks to Musicians On Call and their connection to one of our nurse case managers, more than 100 of us heard Reba’s laugh, saw her smile, and learned her own mother had benefited from hospice care.
These are just three examples of how my impassioned colleagues have gone the extra mile to care for others. They are wearing #hapcFacesOfCaring every day, in times of pandemic and in normal times. Likely those in your organization are doing the same, and for that we are all grateful.
The Faces of Caring campaign was created for hospice and palliative care professionals to share their experience providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like to share your photos and stories from the front lines, please go to www.nhpco.org/faces-of-caring.