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Everyone plays a role



Barb Ford did not suspect she was at risk—she had no family history of cancer—so the news came as a really big surprise. “In 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I just had some symptoms, went to the emergency room, and within days I was just in this whole system of trying to beat a disease I never suspected would be mine.”

Years after treatment at what was then Eastern Maine Medical Center's Cancer Care of Maine, Barb is doing well and thinks back on her care with reverence. “If I could gather everybody in a room that played a part in my treatment, I would thank them.” She paused as she held back a wave of emotion and said, “I’d want them to know that what they did made a difference and that I’m well.” And much to the surprise of her care team, she did just that.

Barb’s story unfolded in the inaugural EMHS Patient Experience video. In this moving story, Barb and her family traveled back to Eastern Maine Medical Center to thank every single clinical and nonclinical team member in our system who played a role in her care. From physicians and nurses to financial counselors and registration staff, this story highlights how important each role in our system is to the health and healing of the patients we serve.

In attendance was Liz Moores, security officer for Eastern Maine Medical Center. Liz often greeted Barb as she came in for her radiation treatments. Barb fondly remembers, “I would walk into Radiation, and Liz would wait for the automatic doors to open, and she would just go, ‘Wah!’” It was as if a symphony of angels welcomed her into the hospital. “It made me laugh and it was just something that reassured me. It doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a difference.”

Paula Hutchinson, RN, Eastern Maine Medical Center Short Stay Unit, was also recognized by Barb for her compassion. “We know that the patient experience is so important,” said Paula. “Patients like Barb really prove that our hard work does pay off. Sometimes you may not think so, but it has made a difference no matter how big or small.”

Watch Barb’s story by following the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yeudjouig4&feature=youtu.be
Do you have a great story to share about the patient experience? Email us at yourstory@emhs.org.