Steve's Blog: Consider the Power of What We Do Every Day

By Steve Cunanan

My first few months at Kindred have been a flurry of activity and somewhat of a blur. I have learned much about our organization, but there is clearly a great deal more for me to learn. In order to do so, I will focus on listening and gaining knowledge from my great colleagues throughout our enterprise. We have great people – and I will rely on them to be my teachers!

Steve I believe that when you start a new job it is most important to understand the history of the organization, the relationships that exist and how work is accomplished today, rather than trying to change things on day one. For this reason, a large part of my transition is getting to know the business and understanding how we deliver care to our patients and residents. I’ve worked in healthcare for almost 15 years, but this is my first time on the provider side and I’m learning that it’s complex and at times confusing. The best way I know to learn about the business is by seeing and experiencing firsthand how we deliver care. That involves getting out of my office and visiting our facilities and care settings.

We all play a role to make the company great, but our clinicians and direct caregivers are especially important; they spend their days caring for patients and providing healing to almost 500,000 people each year. Think about that for a moment. We care for half a million people each year – that’s the equivalent of the entire population of Tucson, Arizona. At the same time, we should not forget the dedicated men and women that support our caregivers at many levels. These folks are also critical to the organization because without an integrated team, things just don’t work.

Before we get lost in the overall numbers, I recently had a good reminder that the true measure of our success is one patient at a time. I had the privilege of seeing this on a recent visit to one of our nursing and rehabilitation centers. During my tour, we visited the rehab room where I was introduced to a woman who had been in a terrible car accident. As a result, she suffered several broken bones and was unable to stand or walk for almost two months. The day I visited, she would be trying to stand for the first time. With the aid of her therapist she stood and took a few tentative steps. I wish I could have taken a picture of her face; her expression translated into pure joy. She was excited and shed a few tears. I felt truly privileged to be able to share that moment with her. A light bulb went off in my head; that’s what we do every day. We give people joy, hope and make healing possible. It was great to be part of that experience, one that our caregivers see every day.

Sometimes the stresses of life and work can cloud the really important things. I will never forget the look on that woman’s face when she took her first steps. Maybe we should all take a moment and think about the things we do that impact people directly and sometimes change their lives forever. Our actions can be truly life-changing or they can be the “little” things that make someone’s day a bit easier. We all have the ability and power to make a difference.

On a daily basis, our expert clinicians and caregiving teams enable full-recovery and witness the amazing outcomes that post-acute care and rehabilitation make possible. While we have hundreds of videos documenting such stories on Kindred’s YouTube channel, I encourage everyone to check out a video of a truly remarkable and touching story about a woman, Kelly, who credits Kindred and her therapists of giving her back her life:

This is what we all do each day – and I hope everyone takes a moment to reflect on the positive role you play in so many individual lives.