CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd
A major part of my role as CEO of Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard is interacting with caregivers. As one would expect, this includes an exceptional group of physicians, nurses, clinicians and employees—those whom I am privileged to work alongside every day.
The ability to witness their never-ending commitment to our patients—as seen through their focus on compassionate care—is truly inspirational.
However, there’s another very special group of caregivers—a somewhat hidden community that rarely gets recognized. A group that, without fanfare, selflessly gives their time to our patient population each and every day of the week.
Though we are so fortunate to have a team of wonderful volunteers working at Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard, this other community of caregivers—also volunteers—are of vital importance to the health care process.
In more simple terms, they are the friends, neighbors and family members who personally support the needs of countless area patients. Together, they are an army of volunteer support.
They drive their friends and neighbors to appointments.
They wait to transport patients home after procedures.
They rise—sometimes in the middle of the night—to accompany loved ones to the Emergency Room.
They join physician consultations to serve as both advisor and guide once the patient has returned home.
In some exceptional cases, these committed volunteers personally take on the responsibility of keeping a friend or loved one’s treatment schedules on track.
What’s more, they are pastors, priests and rabbis as well as members of the “extended” family that so many discover at their chosen house of worship.
They bring flowers, cards and gifts—but most importantly, they bring smiles.
However, of equal importance, these tireless individuals give comfort—not just to the patient—but to assorted family members living out of town. The sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren who literally get to “rest assured” that their loved ones are in good hands.
I see these people every day as they come and go from our hospital. However, as we all know, so much of the “care” happens once a patient leaves us.
In these cases, our superhero helpers run out of the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions, drop by the grocery store, rent a DVD, loan books and magazines, or even drop off a meal loaf.
In a more traditional sense, they not only define what it means to be “neighborly,” they keep our sense of community strong. Yes, they are also the ones who consciously pay attention to the possible needs of the aging couple next door.
Despite the unprecedented growth of East Naples, I personally hope we never lose sight of the importance of small-town sensibilities—of lending a helping hand to others in need.
After all, health care has two major components—“health” and “care.” So often, the ability to provide “care” does not require an advanced degree, just a giving heart.
To this extraordinary team of unsung heroes—I salute you. We all do.