The View From The Exam Table

When was the last time you found yourself on the patient end of a healthcare interaction? While I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s certainly an educational experience, and one every one of us in healthcare could probably benefit from. A minor procedure recently renewed my perspective on what the view is like from the other side …

Our Endangered Nurses And Doctors: Depression, Denial, And Ptsd

As a nurse myself, I’ve been following with interest the ongoing conversation about a critical issue that has gone too long unaddressed; the crisis-level suicide rates of our nurses (and doctors, too). A recent article on the MedPage website, Nurse Suicide: Under the Radar, used as an example the suicide of Dana, a bright, energetic …

Reflections on 20 years of The Watershed Group

Today is the 20th anniversary of The Watershed Group. As I look back 20 years I am reminded of the fear and exhilaration I had when I stepped away from my conventional job as the executive director of the Hospice of North Central Florida (now Haven Hospice), to go out on my own. I loved …

Nurses Rock!

It’s National Nurses Week! I say, let’s pause to offer up a “thank you” to a nurse who made a difference in our lives – like the night nurse in the ICU who cared for my father and took time out to call me when he took a turn for the worse; “I just wanted …

News From The Front

Last week I attended the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s annual springtime meeting in Washington DC, cherry blossoms and all! It was a time to catch up on all the issues facing our hospice and palliative care movement, to reconnect with old friends… Jeanne Dennis, Susan Bruno, Patti Moore and Andrew Reed Pauline Taylor, …

The Heart of a Volunteer: Bettye Zowarka

It was 1985, I was the Executive Director of Hospice of North Central Florida, a tiny hospice program in Gainesville, FL. when I was approached by a woman who lived in a small rural town to offer our hospice services there. Bettye Zowarka was very active in her community and volunteered for many groups. She …

Ask Not For Whom The Robot Cometh…

Did you see the story about the robot doctor that was sent to deliver bad news to a terminal patient? His daughter was with him when the telehealth machine rolled up to his bedside. On the flickering screen, a physician informed the patient that he was going to die, very soon – perhaps too soon …

What I Learned From A Buddhist Monk

My first real, significant job out of grad school was as the executive director of Hospice of North Central Florida, now known as Haven Hospice. When I joined the team there were three staff members and double that number of volunteers. Yet, tiny as it was, our organization was part of a great social movement, …

Could You Survive A P.R. Shipwreck?

It seems like every day brings a new horror story in the news, around healthcare gone terribly wrong. A nursing home patient is abused by staff members who put videos of the abuse on the Internet. Hospice management is accused of fiscal misdoings, even outright fraud. A nurse administers the wrong medication with fatal results. …

Are You The Leader Your Staff Need?

As someone who’s been an executive, a management consultant, and a leadership coach, I know that there are all kinds of effective leaders out there. Some styles are more effective in certain situations than another. Great leaders do share some important traits, and I talked about four of these in a recent post; resilience, ambition, …