Weekly update 8/26/2021

Dear Riverton team,

We are so grateful to be here with you.  We hear you and we see you.  This week we were excited to share your great work with Dr. Harrison. He was able to hear from some of our frontline caregivers and to offer support, gratitude and to take back feedback. We really are so proud of our teams. Here is some of what we are thinking about this week:

Rounding and being present –  So much of life is just showing up.  Showing up sounds simple but it is hard, and it is especially hard when times are tough.  We are so grateful for all our caregivers who show up and take care of each other, our patients, and our Riverton family.  We have been rounding with our leaders and teams and will continue to round with all of you and our patients.  We want to show up for you, express our enormous gratitude for your hard work through this marathon we all thought would be a sprint, and to work with you and support you. We know this is tough. And it isn’t forever, but how we get through it with each other matters.  We have seen enormous kindness and generosity as teams step up to fill in for colleagues, managers get food for teams who are so busy, and caregivers build connection to each other and our patients through extraordinary times.

You are enough – Life isn’t perfect and in healthcare the goal is always to do everything right.  And we all feel stretched and even more than the physical drain is the moral injury of feeling like we didn’t do everything we could have the way we would have wanted in these extraordinary circumstances.  We have your backs – we see the extraordinary care and staffing models and patient acuity. Life isn’t risk free, and in medicine we weigh the risks and benefits of every intervention we undertake.  In our current situation, where there are few beds anywhere for anyone, the question isn’t necessarily whether we can take care of our patients during these times in exactly the same way as we do during normal circumstances.  The question is whether we can help the patients we care for and avoid leaving some people uncared for completely.  In parenting, as in life, often the best we can offer is to be there, to care, and to do the best we can.  And really, that’s all anyone can ask.

Community – we are all in this together.  One of the things that has been a big challenge this time around is both the feeling that “this” will never end AND the feeling that healthcare teams are alone.  The community support we felt early in the pandemic, which was so uplifting and carried us through shared sacrifice, now feels gone. Instead, we hear stories of conflict and strife and escalating confrontations.  But we are not alone.  Just this morning our Riverton Mayor called to find out what the city could do to help.  Riverton is here for us just as we are here for our community. People are tired and angry and drained by the constant anxiety of impending doom. But we are not alone and we will see the other side of this. Together.

What can you do?

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