January 20, 2017
Moore Mission Moments - The Watershed Group


by Patti Moore


The Predictive Index’s Matt Poepsel recently wrote about the major human capital trends that will shape the coming year in hiring, defining “human capital” as, “…the collective value of the knowledge, skills, creativity, and other factors of any group of people performing work”.


What does today’s workforce look like, as seen through this lens? For one thing, it’s more diverse than ever in age, race, and gender. Even as the Millennials come on board, workers from the boomer generation are staying on the job longer than previously. Minorities and women are gaining ground. Employers are going to be more tuned in to the demands and desires of employees, who are less likely to stay at a single job than previous generations. Organizations themselves are increasingly flatter, more democratized, and more flexible, further reflecting what their employees value, and are offering expanded learning opportunities to employees looking to extend their skills and value.


Technology is impacting every aspect of the workplace to a greater extent than ever, too. From the Electronic Medical Record that is a blessing and a curse, to employees who bring their own mobile devices to work, to HR’s increasing dependence on predictive talent models to slot the right person into the right position, as well as management’s ongoing assessment of business processes and procedures in pursuit of productivity.


What kind of human capital do you look for in a new hire? Hospice demands a greater level of emotional commitment than do most workplaces. It’s a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week operation. The work can be exhausting, physically and emotionally, and requires that we bring our best, every day, to every patient and family we serve. It requires a special kind of person to do this important work – which is why I always looked first for a purpose-driven person.


Many if not most employees see work as a straight quid pro quo; labor for money. Good employees have a personal investment in the quality of their work. But working in a hospice is unique because the patients we care for are dying. As Gretchen Brown, my friend and retired CEO of Hospice of the Bluegrass says, “We only get one chance with each patient. If we mess it up, then it can impact people’s lives in negative ways that we will never know. If we make it a positive experience, you can also have an impact on people’s lives in profound ways.”


That impetus to make a positive impact, and to bring comfort and solace to those at the end of their lives – there is no greater or more fulfilling purpose. Those who embrace it fully, who see it as a vocation as much as a job, are the people I’ve always felt were best suited to this work.  I also looked for people with a belief in something greater than themselves; not specifically religion, but a faith in goodness, faith in humankind, faith in the rightness of the universe.


Most important of all, the purpose-driven person should see hospice as destination work, not a stopover on the way to something else. The bottom line is, when you’re hiring people, hire for personality and dedication and commitment to serve – for their sense of purpose in this vital work- then train them to be the very best hospice workers they can be.


Any guesses where this Tin Man lives??


This may change your definition of "Princess" forever. What a phenomenal effort by these caring young volunteers; your guaranteed feel-good story for the day, if not the week.

Alzheimer’s Disease changes everything – but in those moments when the curtain of forgetfulness lifts, we can sometimes reach across the chasm and reconnect with the person we love, as this brief and personal piece illustrates.

USA TODAY reports on an extraordinary outreach effort by mobile teams serving the homeless:

“The day he learned he had liver cancer, Michael J. Reece, 56, was spending nights in a Seattle homeless shelter, leaving each morning to wander the city streets.  For weeks, he’d been in constant pain, worried about the swelling in his legs and gut. Then he faced surgery and chemotherapy — and the dread that comes with a potentially deadly diagnosis.  “I cried,” recalled Reece, a former drug addict who was estranged from his family and cut off from traditional medical care.  That’s when he met Tony Boxwell, a bald, burly nurse practitioner at the heart of what experts say is the first U.S. program that sends mobile teams to provide palliative care — comfort care — to homeless people facing terminal illness.”


What happens after we die? Those of us in hospice are faced with this existential question every day. As the Today Show reports, these researchers are trying to answer it. 



An ongoing success story: Through a program sponsored by the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa (FHSSA), Gilchrist Hospice Care continues a partnership begun in 2009 with Nkoaranga Lutheran Hospital's hospice and palliative care program in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. Gilchrist Hospice Care has pledged to provide financial, technical and educational support in order to assist them as they struggle to provide hospice care with limited resources.

In Tanzania:

  • The average life expectancy is 50 years
  • 1,400,000 people are living with AIDS/HIV
  • 93,000 people died from AIDS in 2007
  • 970,000 children have been orphaned due to AIDS

The hurdles the Nkoaranga staff face daily are staggering, they:

  • serve over 900 terminally-ill patients every day with only a staff of five and 40 volunteers,
  • have limited medications to help manage pain and other patient symptoms,
  • travel many miles over mountainous terrain and rutted roads trying to reach their poverty-stricken patients.

Gilchrist CEO Cathy Hamel reports, “We hope to share our experience with the Nkoaranga staff as well as receive valuable guidance from their staff about how to do more with less and how to better care for patients in the last stages of HIV/AIDs.”

I have had a busy start to the new year!  I've been to Colorado and Kentucky and it's only mid January!
I enjoy the places I go and people I get to meet on my travels and when possible I try to take in some of the local sights  
Each region of the country and each community interprets hospice and palliative care in unique ways.  From very rural care in western KY to very urban care in major cities like Baltimore. 
I applaud you all for being innovative in caring for your fellow citizens and I am inspired by the amazing leaders and workers who ease suffering and empower dying people and their loved ones. Thank you!


I love this contemporary "art" on the campus of Murray State University in Murray, KY

Pause, take a breath, smile and enjoy evening at our RiverCove Retreat Center
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