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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's Working: Thanks to Two Josephs!



My mom recently had knee replacement surgery at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma. Would you believe that my Mom, DURING her hospitalization, dined with fellow patients, got a massage, had fine dining, received a trophy and T-shirt, and played Putt-Putt golf?

Well, believe it.

Mom was admitted into the unique St. Joseph’s program of “Joint Camp.” Located in the circular tower on the 8th floor, all the joint replacement patients were put in the same section. In the center of the circular configuration of hospital rooms and nurse’s stations was physical therapy. Patients had their therapists and coaches right outside their rooms. Mom’s room (the Mt. Adams room which boasted a cool view of Mt. Rainier and the Tacoma Dome) was central on the floor.

Besides the convenience of having services right then and there and less than a stone’s throw away, Joint “Campers” had special events to make their recovery more personable and give them a welcome change of pace and scenery. They got a special buffet lunch and dined with other “Campers.” They had the option of getting a massage (Mom said that was heaven), and had a “special dinner” with a guest. On the 2nd night of their stay, Campers get to invite a special guest to come dine with them. I was the lucky one that got to go! We were served a very nice dinner with salad, roll, entrĂ©e, and cheesecake for dessert with cloth napkins and nice silverware. We even got a glass of wine! Of course, the patients opted for sparkling cider (I enjoyed a glass of Merlot). On the last day of Mom’s stay, she played Putt-Putt golf (a fun way for the P/T folks to introduce proper standing/positioning/etc). Mom won the trophy for golfing. And she got a Joint Camp T-shirt that read, “No Pain, No Cane!” The Campers are even offered a celebratory reunion for later down the road when they are healing. Awesome!

And what was even more awesome is my friend and “In Your Neighborhood” fellow blogger. Joseph McGowan (Father Oneal) one of the St. Joseph’s chaplains, came to visit my mom during her stay (thanks again my friend). Mom found Joseph funny, sweet, interesting, and delightful (don’t we all?) and she really enjoyed his visit. Joseph also asked Mom if she’d like a harpist to come play some soothing music for her! Mom even had the option of having someone come into to wash her hair and help her “spruce” up a bit. Wow!

And what else was a wow was the kindness that every staff member showed to my family and I. Whether we were talking to the nurses taking care of my mom, checking out the gift shop, waiting in the surgery waiting room, or eating some yummy food in the deli while Mom slept, we were greeted with kindness and extraordinary customer service and care from paid and volunteer employees alike. Everyone was so gosh darn NICE and welcoming. Mom said it made a huge difference in her recovery. For me, it made me feel great and proud to have such a wonderful and fine institution in our city.

Thanks, St. Joseph’s for your dedicated care to the patients and their families. You are making a difference.

6 comments:

Lorraine Hart said...

What a great program (says someone with bad and creaky joints, looking at the future) this is!

Of course, nothing beats having a friend on the 'inside' and Joseph is a stellar friend to all. Thank you for all you do Joseph.

Kim, please give your mum a big kiss from us and wish her a speedy recovery. How wonderful "no pain--no cane" sounds.

JosephMcG said...

Kim: i had a wonderful time with your mother... very gracious human being, thank you for asking me to visit her...
I love the positive spirit at St Joe's and all the other Franciscan hospitals...
St. Joe's is helping me to become a mature, loving human being...

Mizu Sugimura said...

St. Joseph Hospital has figured prominently in my families' memories - though it's been a bit of a stretch.

I enjoyed the same "first-class" care twenty-something twenty-something years ago when my son was delivered there by emergency C-section and years before that a hospital chaplain at the facility years made a difficult night when two three family members were involved in an early morning head-on collision with another vehicle far less of a nightmare than it could have been.

In the ranks of local health institutions, St. Joseph's will ALWAYS have a special place in the hearts of this South Sound area family!

Kim Thompson said...

Thank you all for your kind words and sharing your stories! My mom is having a nice and speedy recovery, too.

Stephanie Frieze said...

I spent ten days at St. Joe's once with pneumonia and think that I had wonderful treatment. Pierce Co. is fortunate to have such a healing place and we are all lucky to have Fr. Joseph!

Kim Thompson said...

Absolutely!