I recently had the opportunity to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for Porter Health's new Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. Representing ValpoLife.com, I showed up with cameras in hand, not knowing what to expect, where to go, or even exactly what the ceremony was commemorating. Within moments of arriving, I was warmly greeted by Porter hospital system spokeswoman Kelly Credit who very kindly explained what I could expect, how the ceremony would proceed, and considerately gave me a quick run through of the facility. As soon as I set up my equipment and ran through some quick checks, hospital Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Nalli approached me and thanked me for coming.
Right after the ceremony, I was privileged to be given a private and very thorough tour of the entire facility by nursing unit manager Angela Boland. Ms Boland impressed me in many ways, with her kind and pleasant demeanor, by her genial introductions and interactions with other staff at the facility, but mostly with her exceptional knowledge, as if she planned, designed, and built the center with her own hands. Everyone I met was open, friendly, and eager to share their considerable knowledge and expertise.
So why was I so surprised?
In recent years, as my aging mother has experienced a number of health issues, I've had to deal with numerous health care facilities. At best, the experience has been "not-unpleasant". But it seems that the majority of the time the staff at whatever-facility displayed a superior attitude, showing little if any concern for my mother's comfort, merely seeing her as another in a long line of patients. Not all of the visits gave reason to complain, but I met with enough frustration and annoyance that I eventually adopted an adversarial attitude toward health care in general.
Everyone I came in contact with at Porter's facility, from the receptionist to the CEO, greeted me with a smile and welcoming attitude. Moreover, each person exhibited not only a willingness to help, but an eagerness and urgency that I found most refreshing.
Halfway through my tour, I commented that if I ever needed treatment I was coming to Porter. My guide joked back that I should wait until their new facility, targeted for a 2011 opening, is complete. The new facility, she explained, promises to be the ultimate in state of the art technology and patient care and comfort. Hopefully I'll never need Porter's services, but if I do I know I'll be in very good hands.