Dear Health Care Mama,
Our world is unrecognizable. Homes are offices, classrooms and gyms. Hospitals and clinics face an unprecedented pandemic and all else has come to a screeching halt, except for you. You, continue to wear all the hats and more. Including the one that is binding us together like never before.
See for me, I knew I wanted to be a nurse since a very early age when I gashed open my leg and needed stitches. I asked the doctor to put a zipper in it so I could look at it. I was fascinated with what was below the surface of the skin, the makeup of our body and those called to serve the ill and injured.
It was 41 years ago that I graduated from nursing school, and now as President & CEO of Dignity Health Greater Sacramento Division, I continue to keep up my certification because that curious little girl still lives inside of me. No matter what role in health care you’re in, I know you have a similar origin story because that’s who we are. We are bred of compassion and the pursuit of helping humankind.
However, even as a single mom of two, I never tackled anything like you’re facing today. Where your home life is turned upside down and at work – the challenges seem insurmountable. I never had to follow a virtual lesson with an at home instruction on whole numbers, as well as monitor a critically ill patient’s recovery and progress all in one morning. I never had to live outside of my home away from my family as an extra measure of security.
You are raising the bar by answering the call of duty and then some.
My entire goal in life was to ensure my children were happy and healthy and here you are, your family’s Chief Medical Officer, and also taking care of those most vulnerable within our hospital walls. It is a courage and strength that is almost mystifying.
Yet you still take time to play the puzzle on the floor, do the ridiculous Tik Tok videos, and check on your own mother via Zoom, as you soak your sore feet in a tub. While it is undeniable you are a force never to be underestimated, we understand, you too will need time to heal.
This Mother’s Day, things will look different for all. For you, it may mean the end of a 12 hour shift, the start of one or the break in between two. Shifts that are contributing to a global fight and a local battle to keep our communities safe and well.
It is this day, and every day that follows, that it will be that much more important to lift up all mothers and especially you, our health care heroine’s. Ensuring you are healthy and well in every way not only physically but spiritually, mentally, emotionally – all of you.
So today, I write to tell you that I am with you. That I see you. That this longtime RN turned hospital leader is in awe of you. That I celebrate you today and pledge to advocate for your healing and well-being, so you can find the last piece of the puzzle, so you can post the silly dance, and keep that virtual chat with the fierce lady that mothered you.
While I am uncertain of what our new world will look like, I am assured it will be better because of you.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there and especially to you, courageous shapeshifter, for all you embody.
Warm Regards, Laurie Harting
President & CEO of Dignity Health Greater Sacramento Division