What a week!
We’re celebrating the 25th episode of Menders! I am so grateful and honored by this milestone! The community that has coalesced around Menders has given me energy and hope for the future. Thank you for being a part of this community.
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with a group of administrative supervisors last week. I was blown away by how appreciative these employees were for the opportunity to simply be seen, heard, and validated by senior leadership.
The leadership team was a bit nervous about the feedback they’d receive during the meeting, but they boldly committed to being present and non-defensive. Their openness was met with enthusiasm and gratitude. It was a beautiful, creative, and connective experience for everyone. Win-win!
Sometimes we make “leadership” overly complicated. In my opinion, leadership often comes down to a willingness to have difficult conversations, demonstrate respect for others, and show up in a consistently caring way. And of course, this is most important when we are considering the needs of our lower power community members.
What’s new on Menders?
Menders episode 25 is beautiful. I cried while listening back to it and expect that each of you will find it to be deeply moving too.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer O’Brien. After spending her career in healthcare as a changemaker and fixer executive, Jennifer became a family caregiver to her late husband Bob, who was himself a palliative care physician.
Now Jennifer is using her experiences on both sides of the healthcare experience to advocate for greater awareness of the tremendous lift family caregivers make when caring for their loved ones. Jennifer advocates for greater inclusivity and respect for family caregivers as they play a clinician-extending role on our healthcare teams. She even wrote a position description to help us all better understand the full extent of what family caregivers do. It’s worth a read!
And perhaps most importantly, Jennifer reminds us that as clinicians we are also human and caregivers for our aging parents, ill spouses, and injured children.
In this episode, Jennifer draws on her intimate experience of palliative care to reflect on the power of reimagining teamwork from the palliative care perspective across healthcare disciplines. And she brings us back to the core values of the healing profession: To care for the ill. To deliver babies. And to comfort the dying.
How focusing on her self-care through art led her to unexpectedly publish a book, the Hospice doctor’s widow, and provide comfort to many families!
Why reimagining teamwork has the power to breathe new life into day-to-day clinical interactions.
And how recommitting to our core values may just transform healthcare!
I hope this conversation inspires you to take the time to dig deep, connect with your values and elevate the members of our healthcare community who are less visible.
My favorite quotable moment from this episode!
“I wished that on my computer screen every morning, a little dashboard would pop up that would say, “we cared for this many patients yesterday, we delivered this many babies, and we comforted this many dying people.”
Jennifer O’Brien (Menders, episode 25)
Be sure to sign up for the latest Mending Health Systems Masterclass: Three mistakes that are costing your health system millions…and how to avoid them! We’ll be doing a deep dive on the true costs of burnout and turnover and problem-solving strategies to create real change now. Registration is live. I hope you can join us!
Want to connect?