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Ticket to Travel

Veenie-3.jpgAs caregivers, we want to do everything we can to ensure our patients receive the care that best meets their needs. Sometimes the ability to receive this care can mean unplanned travel, additional appointments, and visits to see a specialist—difficult barriers for patients who may have physical limitations, are without transportation, or the financial resources to afford travel. This was the case for one TAMC patient who needed to go to Bangor to receive an evaluation before she could proceed forward with weight loss surgery.

Lavenia “Veenie” Bouchard, receptionist for the TAMC Physical Rehabilitation department, recalls, “This patient had spoken to us several times about the surgery and we knew it would undoubtedly be life-changing for her, but we also knew she was not able to drive far distances nor could afford a bus ticket. It didn’t seem right that a bus ticket was the one thing in the way of potentially changing this patient’s life for the better.”

Veenie talked with her co-workers and together they decided to chip in to purchase the bus ticket as well as arrange for transportation from the bus station to the location of the evaluation. Veenie says this patient was very thankful when she found out, and although she is typically very reserved, she made sure the rehabilitation staff remained updated regarding her progress along the way. “This patient is quiet by nature, but she expressed that she would have never been able to make it down to Bangor without the help. She shared that this kind gesture allowed her to get one step closer to leading a healthy lifestyle—for us, this made it all well worth it.”

When reflecting on this experience, Veenie says “When it comes right down to it, it is about compassion—making the world better for another individual. This is how I live my life, and when we show compassion for our patients, this not only helps them physically but nurtures their soul as well. Sometimes in healthcare, it’s not just about feeding the body, but the mind and spirit as well.”

Do you have a story about a team or staff member who provided an exceptional patient experience? Share it by emailing yourstory@emhs.org.