Reminders of Compassion | Medical Mission at Home 2019
September 18, 2019
by Poonam Sheevam
‘Rooted in the ideals of hospitality…’ While this statement is displayed on our website, included in the start of our purpose statement, and on many of our sales materials, ‘Rooted in the ideals of hospitality’, was born from the philosophy of service embedded in the heart of each associate. This statement connects us to the ‘why’ of everything we do and made the choice to participate every year in ‘Medical Mission at Home’ such an easy decision. Dave Ebenhoh, Vice President of Mission Integration, who leads the trip each year explains the rationale, “Our System Office associates work all day every day in a corporate office setting, and it can be easy to lose track of the people that we are truly working for – the patients who come to our facilities wondering if anyone will care for them.” he says. “Serving at a ‘Medical Mission’ is a chance for our associates to see the faces of those we serve – and to be inspired by their courage and perseverance in the face of struggle. Our mission calls us to act – it’s who we say we are.”
The event spans a full day, starting at 6:00 AM and ending whenever the last patients have received the care they need. This year 22 volunteers represented The Resource Group at the Ascension Tennessee event, each offering unique own skills and coming away with unique experiences. The group departed St. Louis on Friday afternoon, caravanned to the Nashville mission site where they were debriefed on their roles and expectations, and then woke up the next day at 5:15 AM to start serving. Upon arrival at 6:00 AM, the group witnessed a line of fifty or so patients already waiting around the Municipal Auditorium. “We saw an individual who had been there since 4:00 PM the previous day” said Laurel, Consultant, Deployment Community. “It was incredibly humbling to know they had slept overnight on a cold concrete sidewalk just to make sure they received the care they needed.”
This was just the first of many eye-opening experiences that happen to be an everyday reality for many individuals. “Throughout the day I saw and spoke with many children, most who seemed under the age of twelve, who had come with their parents to not only receive care, but to also translate on behalf of their parents and other family members” said Poonam, Analyst, Communications. “I remember how hard it was on one of our adult translators last year having to explain to someone the medical condition or issue a clinician had found. I could not imagine the feeling of being a kid and having to relay that type of information to family members”.
The whole experience was a reminder to our associates that there is so much work to be done both in and outside of healthcare to empower patients and provide them with support and dignity. “At the end of the day most of the individuals we worked with are reflections of ourselves, but just at a different time of life” Gerard, Manager, Purchased Services stated. “Some of the people we interacted with were just down on their luck, recently lost or moved away from their support community, or were in professions that didn’t provide an affordable option for healthcare access. This day was what they needed to help provide some stability in a life that we all know can be pretty precarious.”
The Resource Group and all 22 volunteers are honored to have been able to serve at another ‘Medical Mission at Home event’. To receive more information on ‘Medical Mission at Home’ and get involved in your community, please visit the ‘Medical Mission at Home’ website: https://www.medicalmissionathome.org/get-involved.