The Stewardship Factor
There was something that Bruce Feinberg wanted. He wanted to get on a plane and go to Florida to see his twin grandsons for their second birthday. He didn’t want to just interact with them via phone or internet; he wanted to play with them. But it wasn’t going to happen, because physically he was unable to walk more than five feet without tiring. There was no way he could travel to Florida, let alone play with a couple of two-year-olds.
But then Mr. Feinberg met his therapy team from Adventist Home Care Services, which included a physical therapist, a skilled nurse, and an occupational therapist. They helped Mr. Feinberg think through the steps (literally) that he would need to take to meet his rather improbable goal. They helped work out a plan. They gave him his homework and became “Team Feinberg.”
Four weeks later, Bruce Feinberg walked out of his home and fulfilled his dream. When he got back, the team at Adventist Home Health got a letter from him in the mail, and in it he wrote, “About a month ago I completed my program with members of your staff. The efforts put in by your inviting, warm, compassionate, professionals in working with me were successful.… Last night I returned from our trip and I am happy to say I was able to walk, hold, and play with the little guys.… I have been given a rare second chance to live, and I know that in no small part do I owe a large measure of thanks to the caring group assembled to help me begin my new journey.… I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today, walking, driving, laughing, and loving life were it not for the efforts of a great group of warm, dedicated individuals, especially three, Pearl Williams, Steve Fontaine, and Diane Messer.… Thank you for sharing them with me.”
Stewardship is one of our core values at Adventist HealthCare. And sometimes it is both complex to understand and difficult to achieve. It requires a great deal from us to be good and careful stewards of the resources entrusted to our care. It requires knowledge, discernment, persistent attention, and dedication to always make the right decisions for our patients and our organization. It means being willing to embrace new ideas and practices as we improve efficiencies, reduce waste, and cultivate practices that ensure that our mission of healing is paramount.
And very near the core of our stewardship is how we help our patients manage their own health—how we assist them in marshalling their strength, will, and determination to meet their health goals. Stewardship is never more personal than when we provide the professional support and care our patients need to lead healthy and productive lives. We have our patients in mind when in our Values Statement we declare, “We take personal responsibility for the efficient and effective accomplishment of our mission.”
Reflecting on the new life Mr. Bruce Feinberg is experiencing, Steve Fontaine says, “If I understand stewardship correctly, it’s about utilizing the resources that you have to meet the goals of the patient or the organization.” That’s it, exactly.