It’s common practice for corporations to have a mission statement that concisely states what they are about. Virtually every corporation has one. At SMMC our mission statement is the following:
Improving Health through Christian Service.
In analyzing our statement it becomes crystal clear that in our mission, every department is involved either directly or indirectly. This means that when an employee is cleaning a floor, they are involved with “improving health,” or when a chaplain goes to the surgery waiting room to offer spiritual support to patients, he or she is providing Christian Service. Everyone has a gift to bring to the table of healing.
One part of our mission statement that deserves particular attention is “Christian Service.” In my mind all things start from a Higher Power and everything flows down to us. This means that we have been given skills and abilities from above to be used with respect and integrity toward our patients. Interestingly, an article by Karen Abritton in the January 12, 2012 issue of Healthcare Marketing Report stated that:
“But what patients demand most is respect--and respect for their intelligence is paramount. Providers can deliver that easily if they simply set expectations, offer explanations, and take time to interact.”
When a patient comes to us to better their health, improvement involves addressing a multitude of fears, such as “Will I ever recover?” or “I’m scared to death of needles!” or “Will the doctor find out what’s wrong with me?” Make no mistake, these fears can overwhelm and counter the healing process. By looking at healing in its totality, SMMC becomes a “House of Healing.” The word “house” brings feelings of compassion, acceptance, and a safe and caring sanctuary.
I believe that as long as we live our noble mission of “Improving Health through Christian Service,” our “House of Healing” we will be a shining light of hope to our patients.
John Haynes, MS, MBA, is a retired school psychologist and a current volunteer at Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC). He served as a Hospital Corpsman at the US Naval Academy and served on the USS Sanctuary Hospital ship in Vietnam. In addition to his volunteer work at SMMC, he's actively involved in the community through the Shawnee Kiwanis Club and the Kansas Trails Council. His interests vary from backpacking and mountain biking to investment analysis and business management. He and his wife have two sons.