Legacy Meridian Park’s Joan Sichel honored with Palliative Care Award
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness and this type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both a patient and their family.
At Legacy Meridian Park’s Family Birth Center, this may not be a topic that immediately comes to mind. But in any unit of a hospital serious issues can sometimes result in difficult end of life decisions for patients and their families. According to her managers and coworkers, family birth nurse Joan Sichel delivers compassionate and supportive care when and where is needed most.
Lori Eckel, Legacy Health Palliative Care Social Worker Lead and Ethics Consult Service Team Lead, shares the nomination with Joan surrounded by her family of coworkers, “I know a family birth nurse does not come directly to mind when you think about palliative care but we do have to deal with end of life care on those very rare occasions. We are the nurses that deal with a baby's end of life, before it even begins. Joan has always been the nurse to volunteer to take these difficult assignments and we are all so grateful because she is one of the few nurses that knows how to comfort and support a mother as she tries to cope with the loss of a child. She diligently works to make sure these mothers and their families are cared for appropriately, with the compassion and support that they deserve. Joan knows how to speak with these families as they grieve, and passionately advocates for the unit to create easier systems for other nurses to care for these patients as well (creating instructions, having all the information in a certain area). Her advocacy has creating more team work amongst her peers because we better know how to care for these families. Joan is an amazing nurse and her patients love her."
Joan was not only recognized and awarded for her compassionate work at Meridian Park, she was selected as the overall grand prize winner for Legacy Health. In addition to a plaque in her honor, Joan also received membership to the professional association, Center to Advance Palliative Care and sponsored tuition to the annual Palliative Care Conference sponsored by Transitions and Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU).
To learn more about Legacy Health Palliative Care program, please visit our website.