"At a time when much of the talk in health care is about costs and reimbursement, the folks at Children’s Mercy never failed to describe their mission not only as caring for “kiddos,” but caring for children regardless of whether they’re covered by insurance or a government program."
KC Business Journal: All of KC can be thankful we have Children’s Mercy
Through Discover Children's Mercy, community leaders, business leaders and government officials are invited to spend one-on-one time with pediatric sub-specialists, nurses, therapists, and other professionals to witness the care, innovation, research, and teaching programs at Children’s Mercy. Kansas City Business Journal Editor Brian Kaberline shared his experience in his Editor's Notebook:
I thought I was going to spend the day touring Children’s Mercy’s facilities and learning about the hospital’s programs.
And I have to admit, the rehabilitation pool with a bottom that can be raised and lowered to suit a patient’s height was cool; the high-tech machinery keeping premature babies warm and breathing regularly was impressive; even a special lift for older, heavier children was an eye-opener.
But the high-tech features and gadgets, even the whimsical design, took a backseat to the absolutely most impressive feature at Children’s Mercy: its people.
Every person I met was focused on the mission of caring for children. It didn’t matter whether it was a nurse, physician, administrator or volunteer; everyone was working toward a single goal.
Knowing that you’re working to restore a child’s health, smile, maybe even future, is a powerful motivator. And it’s obvious that this is what drives the Children’s Mercy team.
But consider what it takes to get to such a reward. It can be difficult enough to comfort a child with a high fever or broken arm.
Now, consider the strength and hope it takes to regularly face children whose bodies have been broken by the adults who are supposed to care for them, whose own cells turn against them or who were born so early that milestones we all take for granted may be unattainable.
Yet the people I met hadn’t coped by shutting down emotionally. Perhaps a half-dozen times during the day, a story about a particular patient caused an employee’s voice to quiver or eyes to tear up.
This sense of mission and purpose was just as evident in those providing what some might describe as routine care.
At a time when much of the talk in health care is about costs and reimbursement, the folks at Children’s Mercy never failed to describe their mission not only as caring for “kiddos,” but caring for children regardless of whether they’re covered by insurance or a government program.
They took pride in being part of an organization that accepted all patients in need and that supported their decision not to send home a patient until they could be certain that the child and his or her environment was ready.
I asked a nurse and doctor in the hospital’s primary-care clinic whether they were sacrificing pay to work for such an organization. They acknowledged that they could earn quite a bit more working elsewhere but were happy to trade monetary compensation for a feeling that was worth much more.
This type of service isn’t confined to Children’s Mercy. It’s shown each day by a wide range of care providers, whether they work in hospitals or clinics, with the young or the elderly, with strangers or family members, as volunteers or highly trained professionals. I’m thankful for them all.
But my appreciation for Children’s Mercy and its people — already immense — has grown. I admire the organization’s mission, the zeal with which all members of the team pursue it and the support they provide one another.
Idealism and compassion are powerful drivers. The people of Children’s Mercy combine these forces for the good of the children, the future of our community.