What I Learned from Visiting Academy Members

by Laura G. Davis, CAE, AAHPM Director of Marketing and Membership

I recently had the opportunity to travel out of Chicago and spend some time with Academy members. These visits gave me the opportunity to learn first-hand how our members spend their days. It was an enlightening experience. I spent time with Dan Maison, MD FAAHPM of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI, Sarah Friebert, MD FAAP FAAHPM of Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio and Chuck Wellman, MD FAAHPM and Jeff Spiess, MD FAAHPM of Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio.

Here are my ten take-aways:

  1. Care comes in all shapes and sizes – golden retrievers and chinchillas make excellent pet therapists.
  2. When you’ve lived for 95 years, you can say what you want and tell the nurses and doctors what kind of care you want – and you get it.
  3. Every person should be treated with respect and dignity – even if you don’t agree with their healthcare decisions.
  4. Children are patients too and should have a say in their healthcare.
  5. Doctors and nurses can’t always “fix” you, but they can always make you feel better.
  6. How are you feeling? – the most important question you should be asked by your healthcare provider.
  7. Meditation, religion and spirituality are extremely important to patients and healthcare workers.
  8. Hospice touches all members of a family and those family members become volunteers.
  9. The government shouldn’t be making medical decisions.
  10. Hospice and palliative care professionals are special people with special gifts.

I am fortunate to work with such caring professionals.

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