Posted in Having a Voice in Healthcare, Partnerships

Doctors Providing Hope

Every so often I come across a story the renews my faith in human nature.  It brings me peace-of-mind to know that there are still medical professionals out there willing to help someone without trying to make a buck.  ABC World News with Diane Sawyer featured Dr. Andy Moore and the medical professionals at “Surgery on Sunday” as their person(s) of the week.

“Surgery on Sunday” is in Lexington, KY where the team of medical professionals offers their surgical services once a month for those who need surgery but are uninsured.  The staff providing the services couldn’t be more humble about this magnanimous service they provide to the Lexington community.  One doctor interviewed said that the “thank you” he receives from a patient he performed surgery on is uplifting and fills his soul to the brim.

The medical professionals at “Surgery on Sunday” feel honored to provide this service to the community.  It’s actions like this that prove that a community based approach to healthcare is not only possible, but works well.  It provides a safety-net for those who are not eligible for state or federal programs like Medicare of Medicaid, thus relieving the stress to those individual in need of surgery.

A program like “Surgery on Sunday” is replicable.  It isn’t rocket science; it takes medical professionals volunteering once a month and a surgical location to make it possible.  We all have to remember that there are many ways of being paid, and one is gratitude.  A program like this not only helps those who need surgery, but extends hope to potentially millions across the country who may someday benefit from the model created by these heart-driven medical professionals.

I hope that you will send all those affiliated with “Surgery on Sunday” your best wishes and congratulations on their triumphant success.  I hope you’ll refer your medical professionals (if you have one) to the website, to show your medical team what can be accomplished to serve your own community.  Last but not least, please hold hope in your heart for what’s possible when inventive, caring people put their body, minds, and spirit to work to create something that fills a huge gap in our current healthcare system.

Posted in art and healing, creativity and health

What Does Hope Look Like To You?

Art and Healing Wednesday…

We are such a verbal culture and we use words to describe everything.  What if you could only communicate non-verbally?  Would you be able to represent a thought, a feeling, or an experience without words?  That’s exactly what the art students at Chaparral High School in Parker, CO (my home town) were asked to do. 

Jude Keller, the manager of volunteer services at Parker Adventist Hospital teamed up with the high school and asked them to create a piece of art in response to the following quote:

     It is the singular gift

     We cannot destroy in ourselves

     the argument that refutes death,

     The genius that invents the future.

      ~ Lisel Mueller

Yes, hope is an amazing experience.  It fuels our potential for health and healing.  It is the catalyst to continue on the pilgrimage to wellness.  The students created works that were inspirational and insightful.  It’s incredible important that we begin encouraging the exploration of hope in our young people because it’s a crazy world and we don’t know when we’ll need to rely on our inner storehouse of hope to get through a challenge.

When I spoke with Jude Keller she told me that she hopes to make this an annual event with the high school.  It is forward thinking of a hospital to encourage the community to become part of its healing team.  It’s this type of collaboration that lets each and every person in the community who comes to this hospital know that there are others who are holding a healing space for them.  No one ever wants to go to the hospital (except maybe if you’re having a baby), but feeling the healing energy that accompanies these works of art is priceless.

I feel fortunate to live in a community like the one served by Parker Adventist Hospital because they understand and support the healing power of art and creativity.  They exhibit this commitment not only in the art that is hanging but in the building’s architecture and obviously as in the case of Ms. Keller, in the people they employ.

How do you visualize hope?  Does the word spark any colors or textures?  Does it conjure up landscapes or cosmic representations?  Playing with your own representation of hope in a creative fashion is a great way to explore your beliefs.  Knowing what hope looks like will serve you in so many arenas, but especially if you are faced with a health challenge.  Give it a try…I hope you never face a health challenge, but if you do you’ll already have the foundation of hope at your fingertips.