Home Health Insurance The Cover Story – Celebrating Caring – Honoring Our Nation’s Nurses

The Cover Story – Celebrating Caring – Honoring Our Nation’s Nurses

by Insuredwell
0 comment

Full podcast episode transcription 

Peter Panageas: 

Hi, everybody. This is Peter Panageas, and welcome to Episode 4 of IBX: The Cover Story. So, we have an exciting episode for you today. And I’m joined by three incredible nurses as we celebrate National Nurses Month. 

Peter Panageas: 

For over a year, we’ve seen nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking the lead, saving lives, making sacrifices, and working through their own sense of uncertainty and loss. Here at IBX, nurses are absolutely our heroes. 

Peter Panageas: 

Today, we’re gonna discuss the challenges and daily accomplishments of nurses during a regular year. Nurses go through years of extensive education and training, and have further developed their empathy and clinical skills through work and life experiences. 

Peter Panageas: 

We’re also gonna highlight the special challenges of this past year. You know, this past year has been particularly challenging for nurses, not only were they navigating COVID-19, but they were also helping our communities with behavioral health challenges, stress, lifestyle changes, and grief. 

Peter Panageas: 

Nurses are there with us at all stages of our lives, through both the expected, and also the unforeseeable. In our podcast today, we’ll speak with a few special nurses who specialize in nursing at each stage of our lives. 

Peter Panageas: 

So my first guest today is Michelle Jackson-Ware. Michelle’s an asthma care coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and also a winner of the Independence Blue Cross, Celebrate Caring Award. Prior to her role, Michelle was a nurse recruiter dedicated to expanding nurse diversity to better reflect patient populations. 

Peter Panageas: 

Also joining us today is Diana Lehman. Diana is a registered nurse and the director of our Care Management Department at Independence Blue Cross. Diana leads a team of nurses dedicated to helping members along their care journeys. 

Peter Panageas: 

And finally, a very special guest, and a personal friend who’s joining us today, is Bernadette Salopick. Bernadette is a nurse at Journey Hospice, and she happened to have been my mother’s Hospice nurse during my mother’s fight with cancer. Bernadette has developed a personal relationship with my family and I over the last few months, and I’m so thrilled and honored that she’s with us today.

Peter: 

Michelle, Bernadette, and Diana, thank you so much for being with us today. 

Michelle: 

Thank you, Peter. Thank you for having me. 

Peter: 

So first, let’s talk about your backgrounds. If I could ask, what lit the first spark in your life and made you want to become a nurse? Michelle, may I start with you? 

Michelle: 

Sure. Nursing is a profession that actually chose me. It’s a calling and one that I easily accepted. I vividly remember being around the age of five and taking care of my grandmother. And my grandmother had type one diabetes, so I readily took care of her. Whether she needed a massage or her medications, I was right there for her. Amongst all the grandchildren, I was the one that wanted to do it. 

Michelle: 

I also vividly remember being 11 years old, in summer camp and the camp instructor asked us what did we want to be when we grew up? That was an easy one for me. She gave us some art supplies. I put together a little figure that was actually a nurse. And because I knew that we were going to be audio, I brought her in today. Here she is. Can you see her? 

Peter: 

Yes. 

Michelle: 

So, this is actually confirmation for me, that nursing is a calling and that I was called to be one. And I find it very rewarding. I actually do. 

Peter: 

Michelle, thank you for that. And thanks for that visual. For those of you who are, who are listening, obviously, you couldn’t see it, but it’s a great remembrance. I can see it clearly here, Michelle, and it’s a great remembrance. Thank you for sharing that. Diana, may… I’m going to ask you the same question. 

Diana: 

Thanks, Peter. And really like Michelle, it was, I think, a calling. I don’t remember… I tried to go back. I don’t remember wanting to be anything else. I always… whenever anyone else, I wanted to be a nurse, so it was so easy for me when it came to select my career. That was it. But I do remember, I had a neighbor actually, who, when I was growing up, was a nurse and she was a psychiatric nurse. While I didn’t go into that field, I just remember admiring her and her passion and the way that she just spoke about what she did, and I just admired her. And she really, I think, inspired me to be a nurse. And I feel so fortunate that, you know, I picked this career that I’ve been a nurse now for 39 years; the majority of them at IBX. And I just feel so fortunate to really be among Michelle and coming up Bernadette, to be a nurse along with everyone else. So, thank you, Peter.

Peter: 

Diana, thanks for that, you know, great, great insight and amazing perspective. That’s for sure. Bernadette, what led you? What got you here? 

Bernadette: 

Thanks, Peter. When I was young, I was about, I guess, about 11, 12 years old, I was looking for something to do and I wandered across the street from where I lived to this, estate that had a convalescent home. And I went in there and they let me help feed the elderly. Today, that would never happen. You know, you have to have all kinds of certifications and you couldn’t be 11 or 12 doing something like that, but they let me, and I was amazed. You know, I thought, “Oh my God, they’re letting me… they’re trusting me to do this, you know.” , but I liked doing it. I enjoyed and I would show up a lot to help them with feeding time. 

Bernadette: 

And then when I was 15, my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and that got my interest too. I mean, she had a colostomy, she was completely helpless and taking care of it. She would cry. I remember hearing her crying in the bathroom, trying to take care of it. And I was helpless. I didn’t know how to help her. And I think that really sat with me for a long time. My mom lived till I was 25, but I, , I was going to go to nursing school in 1972. I got accepted to Lankenau. Now you all know how old I am. 

Bernadette: 

Life took a different direction for me, so I did not go. And I got married and had kids. And I had this ring from my mother that had a nurse painted on a stone because she really wanted me to do that, you know, and knew I wanted to. But I was married and then my mom passed, and I went through divorce and I thought, “This is the perfect time for me to do what I want.” And I had two children. So, I went, got accepted in nursing school, and put myself through nursing school, cleaning houses with two little kids. And I found then that it was what I always wanted to do; you know? So, it was a little later in life. I’m a nurse now 30 years. I could have been a nurse a lot longer if I had gone earlier, but you know, things happen. I don’t regret it. I have my children. 

Peter: 

Unbelievable perspective, Michelle, Diana, and Bernadette, from all of you. I’m sitting here taking notes as you’re telling us these incredible stories and what got you here, right? And I think there’s a theme that I heard, right? Like it was a calling and there was a personal reflection or a personal impact in your life at a very, very young age that drove you towards serving people. 

Peter: 

I’m sure you’ve all heard this before. And I’ll say it on behalf of all of our listeners here, the work that you do and what your peers do are angelic. And the work that you do to serve members and patients and people every day is just inspiring to so many of us. And Bernadette, having seen you work firsthand with, with my family is something I will always remember and cherish as something that is so special. 

Bernadette: 

Thanks, Peter.

Peter: 

You’re welcome. So, Michelle, I know you do a lot of work outside of your role at CHOP. You host monthly food distribution events through an organization who started called Feed The People Philly. 

Michelle: 

Oh, yeah. 

Peter: 

Could you please talk a little bit about the work and what it’s meant to you personally? 

Michelle: 

I have this constant desire to support our community and a constant commitment to the community as well. And always wanting to help those outside of the workspace that I am currently in. For 22 years, I was the overseer of a food program at the church that I attended in West Philadelphia. And as a result of the pandemic and some property management changes, I had to step back out of that role and just, and just look at how I can adapt the efforts of feeding the people in the community and providing for them. So, what I did was I started my own nonprofit. It’s a feeding program called Feed The People. We started actually in January. We completed our first quarter. Our second quarter is almost ending. 

Michelle: 

We roughly feed about maybe a hundred families the third Saturday of every month we have a core of 10 very supportive members, a really, good, strong volunteer base that makes me so happy because they’re always ready to participate. And I enjoy it so much. I just love it. I love being able to give back to the community. I love knowing that they really depend on us. They look for us. We have the food available for them. And my hope is that in order for us to be sustainable, that someone actually hears us, and the food will continue to pour in and there’s that financial support someday to sustain our program. It’s rewarding and it’s definitely needed in our community because food insecurity is a big concern in Philadelphia, and I want to be one of those people that will do something about it, and that is provide food for them. Feed The People Philly. 

Peter: 

Michelle, incredible, incredible work. You know, none of us could disagree with what you just said. I think that feeding people, particularly in the time that we’ve been living in the last few years, I think is more critical now than ever. Is there a website specifically or a phone number that you can share here with us, that’d be great? And I know Feed The People Philly, but can you give us any other information to share with our listeners? 

Michelle: 

Absolutely. We are on Instagram at Feed The People Philly. We’re on Facebook as well, and we have a Gmail account, feedthepeoplephilly@gmail.com. 

Peter: 

Excellent, Michelle. Thank you so much. And if there’s anything that we can help you in, certainly promoting that any more than, you know, we’re doing here, please do not hesitate to call on me or anybody here at Independence. We’d be happy to, you know, see what we can do to help your amazing, amazing work that you’re doing there. 

Michelle: 

Thank you, Peter. I will. 

Peter: 

To build off of that a little bit, we’re living in unprecedented times. This pandemic has impacted the globe, right? And, certainly in our backyard, in our geographic region, whether you’re in Philly or South Jersey or Delaware, COVID is definitely changed the way we’re living every day. God willing, we’re moving forward and hopefully the worst is behind us. 

Peter: 

But if I could ask you, the challenges with health care professionals, especially nurses, right? As, as we’ve been navigating COVID-19, we’ve seen the news on this, we’ve heard about from loved ones, and maybe you’ve experienced it yourself in some capacity. Can I ask you, how has the COVID pandemic impacted your role as a nurse? And Diana, maybe I’ll start with you here. You know, certainly from, and we’re doing a lot of work with many of our clients that are asking us numerous questions around COVID and the things that are happening and, love to get your perspective on it. 

Diana: 

Sure. Peter, thank you. First, I do want to say, Michelle, your organization just sounds so wonderful and one of the roles, I’ll just say, of the nurses here is we screen individuals and really holistically manage them and identify social determinants of health and, you know, feeding and insecurity. Food insecurity is so critical. So, love the fact that you’ve started that organization and I’m going to share that internally as well because I think it’s wonderful. 

Diana: 

So, Peter, you did mention in definitely such a challenging year or last year, and while all the nurses that we have at Independence, we’re outreaching telephonically. They certainly are for us, on the business side for our members, they were really on the front lines. And, one of the main things we always did was keep the nurses up to date on every, all the latest information on COVID, the CDC guidelines. And these are the nurses that we employ. 

Diana: 

We’re really outreaching to our membership that were diagnosed with COVID and were hospitalized and reaching out and supporting the families and supporting them post-discharge, and making sure that they were getting their visits scheduled. As we know it was, a televisit. And really making sure they also have got their medications that they needed. So, we, we identify within the community. A lot of our pharmacies who are delivering to the home. So, a lot of their effort was educating, care coordinating, and helping the members. But one of the things that was so prevalent as we know that occurred in the last year was really mental health. And individuals were isolated. They come home from the hospital. Sometimes they didn’t have a place to go or they were in their room and really separate from their family. 

Diana:

So, the anxiety and the depression and the isolation that our members felt was really just so escalated during this time. And the nurses spent a lot of their time, not only educating and helping them clinically on getting the service that they needed, but also supporting them from a mental health perspective and being their advocate The good news is that we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Our conversations now are going from the acute services around what they needed to do, around educating all our members, around the CDC guideline, to keeping them safe. 

Diana: 

A lot of our chronic condition members, we were very concerned with them and making sure that they were wearing the mask and doing all of the CDC guidelines, but now those conversations are going into educating now around the importance of getting vaccinated and why that’s so important to keeping them in their families and the community safe. So that’s really where our conversations are going now and also starting to really promote and making sure now, they’re getting their preventive services that are so important to keeping them healthy in the future. So it was, certainly a challenging year. The support that our nurses provided to our members, I think, was really so, so important during these times. 

Peter: 

Diana, great perspective and, you know, certainly, agree with everything you just said there. And many of our mutual clients that we work on together have shared everything that you’ve said. You know, Michelle from a day in the life of, you know, being at CHOP and being a nurse and certainly, you know, the rigors of what you do day in and day out, the complexity with COVID has probably added a whole other dimension or a layer. And I’d love to get your perspective and insight as to what that’s meant to you and your peers as you’ve been battling… you know, look, we watch it on the news, we hear it, we see it, but we’re not living it, right? And so, you know, again, you’re the frontline. You’re doing amazing work out there and we’d love to get your perspective on a day in the life of what you and your peers are dealing with just with COVID, and what we’re dealing with every day. 

Michelle: 

Yeah, absolutely. It actually was a lot of adapting. All of us, we had to really adapt to every new situation that confronted us. And I think the biggest one was the sudden use of telehealth. That was really big for us because we were so concerned about our patients. We had to cancel all of our appointments and convert to telephonic appointments. It was really tough because it was something that we weren’t used to. 

Michelle: 

We also had to stop and make sure that all of our families were educated. We had to make sure that all of our families wanted to actually use this new communication tool. So that was really tough. Not just the virus and, you know, the fear around the virus, but actually using this new tool was very, very tough for the families that we serve in West Philadelphia. Teaching them how to navigate it was very tough, but they finally learned. Many of us had to step up to become super users. And I when I say super users, I mean, real, super users. And, this is a system that, you know, we’re not used to. So we had to learn pretty quick, but everyone adapted, which was great. And it’s a tool that we still use today. It’s a great communication tool and it’s used. The families love it. 

Peter:

It’s incredible, Michelle. And a great way to navigate through a very, very challenging time, right? And kudos to you and your peers and taking advantage of those incredible tools to help navigate through it. And, on behalf of all the patients that you’re serving every day, thank you. Incredible work. 

Michelle: 

You’re welcome. 

Peter: 

You know, Bernadette, we’ve been on this journey together, haven’t we? For our listeners, Bernadette was, … you all recall the conversation I, I shared a few months ago with my mother navigating through her cancer. Unfortunately, she’s no longer with us, but she’s in a much better place. And, at the same time, my father has been battling cancer as well. And Bernadette is now caring for my father as he journeys through hospice as well. And God bless his soul. He’s, he’s a fighter. And knowing, knowing my dad, this stubborn old Greek man from Greece, he’ll probably God willing live a long, long time. 

Peter: 

But, you know, Bernadette, a really interesting time now because, while we kept my mom and dad both home and really locked down during COVID, I took the step to get my father vaccinated and he had gotten the Moderna vaccination. Thank God. My dad has a stage four prostate cancer and unfortunately, about three weeks ago, we learned that he tested positive for COVID after being vaccinated. And, I share that story with everyone here and our listeners, because, look, getting a vaccination is a very personal thing. But there’s no question in my mind, had my father not been vaccinated, he wouldn’t be here right now. 

Peter: 

And by the grace of God, he is, and he fought through it and became very… it was very asymptomatic. Thank God. He had a couple sniffles, but nothing major. And I share that with everyone here because my father is home now and he is being cared for by Bernadette and her organization. Bernadette, I’d love to get your take in dealing with a patient, end of life, through hospice who’s positive right now. What levels of complexity that adds to you and what you’re doing every day? 

Bernadette: 

Peter, I guess, what it adds to is that I need to wear the protective equipment, the PPE, when I’m with your dad. Until at least we get a negative. And not so much am I worried about myself because I’m vaccinated and I’ve been around COVID now this whole year, and, I’ve been okay. But they need me. The patients need me, like your dad needs me to come and be there. And I like touching people. I like the skin to skin contact and the hugs. You know, your mom always hugged me every time I got there and before I left. She was such a wonderful lady. I had a special caring for your mom because her name was the same as my mom’s. So, there was a connection there immediately. 

Bernadette: 

But your dad too. He needs the care. He needs me to be there. I held your dad’s hand before I left, because I think that’s an important part of him trusting me and letting me care for him, you know, and believe in what I tell him to do. 

Bernadette:

So, it’s been a hard year with COVID. It really has been, but it always amazes me how… my daughter’s a nurse and she’s an intensive care nurse at Lankenau. So, she is in COVID the whole year, 12 hour shifts, six days in a row with little kids at home. So it’s been quite a year for us and we laugh amongst us, my daughter and I, because everybody else was locked in in their house and we’re running out the door to take care of the patients, you know, and running towards it while everybody else was hiding. 

Bernadette: 

And not that they shouldn’t have been, they should have been, but it just makes me more aware of why I’m a nurse, and that I’m in the right profession, and her too, because it was never a thought to quit my job. And, a lot of women I know, were of retirement age and did retire, but I just wanted to help. And, and I’m glad that I’m able to do that. I’m glad that I was able to see your dad and stay in contact. I’ve been texting with Dorothea for a couple of days, your sister and, you know, this is what I love. And your sister keeps saying, “I’m sorry to bug you.” But she’s not bugging me. I love to be able to help if I can. And I take my time, my family. You know, I get it. It’s not like… everybody says, you got to take time off, but I do get time off, you know, so… 

Peter: 

Bernadette, let me just say this, that the human part of what you do… and Michelle and Diana, I’m going to come to you with this question as well. The human touch, the human part of what you did as you were caring for my mom, and certainly for my father. 

Peter: 

It made such a difference in their lives, my mother’s life and currently my dad. It’s just amazing to watch the power of just touch and what you do. And Michelle, let me start with you, if I could, Michelle, just from your, a day in the life and, dealing with patients every day, I’d love to get your perspective on that as well. 

Michelle: 

I love working with families. My families have such heavy concerns. And many of their concerns, they don’t want to voice to just anyone. And I have this way of looking in their eyes and being able to allow them to share those deep, dark concerns, or even light concerns that they have. They share them with me. I consider it a gift from God because, you know, people are not able to do that with everyone. It’s a gift. It’s so rewarding and so gratifying that they’re able to share their souls, their lives, their concerns, their wants, their needs with me. So, it behooves me to do all I can for them. 

Michelle: 

Just being there for them, it’s just rewarding. And I know it’s something they need, and I know that it provides the healing that they need. 

Peter: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Diana. 

Diana:

Peter, first, here’s a virtual hug for you, for all that you’ve gone through. And Bernadette for supporting Peter and his family. I’m sitting here emotional, hearing your story. So, Peter, virtual hug on this podcast, really, just, my heart breaks for you. 

Diana: 

The most rewarding for me, and I have to say, it was a tough transition going from being that hands on many, many years ago. And I really had realized translating that visual, seeing someone touch to touch to what we do today, but I have to say what we do today and all the nurses that work at IBX and what we do, we are touching thousands of members a year, and I mean thousands. Whether it’s our nurses that are focused on our Medicare population, we have nurses that are talking to parents because their babies are in the NICU, pediatric, adult, you know, members, wherever they are in their healthcare journey, new diagnosis of chronic conditions, cancers, we are really talking and helping. And not only the members, you know, Michelle, you mentioned the whole family. We truly believe that we’re managing in the family. 

Diana: 

So, we’re helping the patient, the parent, the significant other. Whoever it is, we’re really helping others. And what makes my day today is, matter of fact, just last week, I got several emails and notes from members that we’ve helped, and they’ve called our nurses their angels. They’ve said, we’re so lucky to have them. So, when I receive a letter like that, it makes my day, and it really shows the importance of why we do what we do at Independence and how all the members were helping. So, that is when I know it’s all worth it. While it’s different type of nursing, I think it’s just as, it’s just as important, just a different way on the number of members that we’re helping to. So, thank you, Peter. 

Peter: 

A great perspective, Diana, and I got your virtual hug and I love you so much. Thank you. All right. So, at Independence, we talk a lot about work-life balance, right? And in this last year, it’s been, you know, it’s been really tough to say, “I’m going to go on vacation. Where you’re going,” right? Like, you’re… everybody, we’re all in the same boat, right? But certainly, you know, and Bernadette, you touched on it a little bit. And Michelle, I’m going to start with you here first. I’m going to ask Diana, Bernadette, all of you the same question, right? When we talk about work-life balance, right? A lot of stress, a lot of incredible work that you’re doing day in and day out. What’s the one thing, Michelle, that you do to help you with work-life balance on a personal front that’s fun that you enjoy doing? So, I’ll start Michelle with you. And then Diana, I ask you the same question and I’ll end with you, Bernadette. 

Michelle: 

The one and most important thing that I do is hang with my family. My family provides healing for me. I have sewn so many seeds into the children, my grandchildren, and you know what? It too has become rewarding because they all continue to come back. They come back, they hang around the house, we eat, we enjoy each other. That is the best thing for me and provides the most healing and balance in my life. Especially during this time. We’re working amongst all the stressors, home and family is the key for me. 

Peter: 

Beautiful. Diana?

Diana: 

Yeah. I would say family is a number one. I am very fortunate that both my parents are ADA and live up the block. So, I, too visit them often to make sure that everything’s okay. My children, while they don’t live at home or transient, and, and I don’t know why, but they’re always coming back too, so that makes my day. But for myself, I really try and get out and go for a walk, and really just listen to music and try and really just unwind myself and unplug and enjoy myself that way as well. 

Peter: 

Thank you, Diana. Thank you for that. And Bernadette, how about you? 

Bernadette: 

Yeah. I’m with you, ladies. Family is definitely my thing too. I have six grandsons and all boys, and they’re just so enjoyable. We moved to the shore in the middle of COVID. September 1st, we moved down to Cape May Court House. And, my husband had his own business and it didn’t survive COVID, so we thought, you know what, let’s just do what we were going to do. Sell our house and move to the shore. So I can go sit on the beach and look at the water, and that’s so, so soothing to my soul. And my grandsons will come down here and they’ll all stay here with us. And they are a lot of fun too. They just keep you laughing. 

Bernadette: 

It’s so nice to hear what you ladies do. And, Michelle, I love what you do with feeding the hungry. And, I did nursing in Philadelphia. I was born and raised in West Philly. And I did all my nursing in the beginning was in all of Philadelphia. So, I really appreciate what you’re doing there. And Diana, IBX has been my insurance (laughs) for years. So, I know what you guys do. You do a lot. You help a lot of people, that can’t get out, that need the help over the phone. So, I appreciate you sharing that. Thanks, Peter. 

Peter: 

Oh, Bernadette. You’re welcome. And, look, a testament to all of you for having beautiful families who you want to spend time with and they equally want to spend time with you. Six grandsons, Bernadette, God bless you. That’s incredible. So, that’s wonderful. 

Peter: 

So, as we wrap up our podcast today, I’m going to ask you all one last question. If there’s any one more thing that you’d want to share with our audience who’s listening, what would it be? 

Peter: 

Michelle, what, what would that be for you? 

Michelle: 

CHOP’s foundation is built on family centered care, and I know I spoke a lot about my love for my patients, but my love is actually for patients and their families. We are groomed to care for not just the patient, but the entire family, and I just find it very, very rewarding. I know it’s a word that I use a lot, but I do. I find it very rewarding to be able to take care of the patient as well as the family and to be able to meet their needs.

Peter: 

You know, Michelle, I’d be remised if I didn’t offer this to you and the audience, we serve a lot of clients in the Philadelphia region and certainly nationally, and the work that you and CHOP does in serving our community is amazing. We’re honored to serve you as our client, honored to serve all the employees of CHOP. And just value you so much as a client and a partner in mutually serving the Philadelphia region. So, thank you. 

Michelle: 

That’s wonderful to hear. Thank you so much. 

Peter: 

You’re welcome. So, Bernadette, how about you? If there’s any one last thing you’d want to share with our audience, what would it be? 

Bernadette: 

It would be, what I said about hospice, Peter. Hospice is something that we pay into all our life when we’re working and it is such a good benefit for not just the patient, the whole family. And it’s something I feel that a lot of people do not take advantage of. And I would definitely encourage people to do that. If you have an illness that could possibly cause your death in six months, you qualify for hospice. And if you’re not sure, talk to your doctor or call one of the hospices and ask them. We know the regulations, we know what qualifies, and it is such a benefit. And it doesn’t just take care of the patient, it also helps the family. We’re there to support the family and what’s happening and to explain what’s going to happen and what to expect and in how to take care of their loved one, and to have those hard conversations. 

Bernadette: 

Some people are really afraid to talk about that, but it’s a conversation that we have to have. You know, we’re all born, and we all die. So, it’s a natural occurrence in our life. And so, I can’t stress enough for people to reach out when they need that help and do it, try hospice. You can always change your mind. You can always sign off. Nothing’s carved in stone. That’s the one thing everybody thinks once they sign on, they have to die. That’s not true at all. There’s many people come on and they get better and we discharge them, and they don’t die. They live longer. They have a few more years than what they thought. I just can’t encourage people enough to try. Give hospice a try if you’re at that point in your life. 

Peter: 

Bernadette, I couldn’t agree with you more. And, I’ll echo exactly what you just said, we were going through the journey with my mother and certainly now with my father. The work that you and Journeys Hospice in Southern New Jersey has done to help not only care for my mom when she was with us and certainly my dad now, but really coaching and helping my sister and I as were caregiving for my father and answering a lot of questions that, admittedly, we just didn’t know and what to deal with and prepping us for next steps and what that meant and how to best prepare for it. It really was a blessing. And so, I encourage everyone too that if you’re at that point with a loved one or you’re caring for somebody who’s potentially in that position, explore hospice. It has been an incredible experience for my family and me. And I can’t, again, thank you, Bernadette, enough, and Journey enough for the incredible work and I’ll always love and cherish you for everything you’ve done. So, thank you.

Bernadette: 

Thank you. 

Peter: 

And Diana, how about you? If there’s any one last thing you’d want to share with our audience today, what would that be? 

Diana: 

You know, the one last thing is, as I’ve mentioned, we have many nurses who work at Independence and we outreach to so many of our members. And, I just want to say, if we’re outreaching to you, pick up the phone, call us back, because we’re here to help you. And there’s so many things we help with from helping members get the needed services, to coordinating care, talking to the physicians and clarifying, educating you on your chronic condition. Whatever it is, we’re here to help. So, if we call, pick up the phone, call us back, we really are here to help you through your journey. 

Peter: 

Diana well said. For many of our commercial clients, the member engagement is such a critically important part of the things that we do and what you and your team do is amazing. And I’ll echo and reinforce to our audience what Diana’s saying. If you’re, regardless of the insurer that you might be, so it’s not to make this a biased conversation, okay? If a nurse is reaching out to you, you should engage with them. They’re there to help. They do incredible work and they are not Big Brother. They are there to help serve and make the journey of health care a more pleasant one. I personally believe that Diana and her team are the best at it in the industry, but that’s my personal bias, and Diana, you know, I think the world of you and your team, and you do incredible work and I can’t thank you enough for all that you do. 

Diana: 

Thank you, Peter. 

Peter: 

So, with that, Michelle, Bernadette, Diana, thank you so much for being part of our podcast today. I’ve enjoyed our conversation and look forward to talking to you and staying connected with all of you in the future. 

Diana: 

Thank you. 

Bernadette: 

Thanks, Peter. 

Diana: 

It was a pleasure. 

Peter:

All right. Bye-bye now. Thank you. 

Peter Panageas: 

What a wonderful conversation today. And I want to, again, thank our guests Michelle, Diana, and Bernadette. And I also want to thank our listeners for tuning into our podcast. Please check out the show notes for more information at insights.ibx.com. And to learn more about our Celebrate Caring campaign and get to know our winners at ibx.com/nurses. That’s ibx.com/nurses. 

Peter Panageas: 

Thanks again for joining our podcast today, and looking forward to our next episode. See ya everybody. 

You may also like

Leave a Comment