BREVARD COUNTY ― In 2018, Hospice of Health First began an organized attempt at promoting self-care for its associates. Health care – and Hospice in particular – can be a mentally and emotionally draining profession.

Recognizing this, and instead of encouraging associates to manage those stressors on their own, Hospice of Health First leadership thought it was important to offer staff a structured environment where they can debrief and enjoy time with their peers – or other team members they rarely get the opportunity to see.

Hospice associates work with patients and their families who are nearing the end of their life journey – providing comfort and care every day. The demands of this profession, and the time spent out in the field covering the entire 72 linear miles of Brevard County, makes it tough for associates to get to know everyone they work with.

That is why Hospice of Health First began organizing quarterly, self-care socials, where staff can gather and enjoy food, meaningful conversation and intentional team-building activities. As a result, Hospice associates feel re-energized and are able to continue providing exemplary care to patients, comfort them in coping with life-limiting illness and maximize the quality of their remaining time. Investing the time to build high functioning, cohesive teams, leads to better patient outcomes and greater patient/family satisfaction.

“Giving our associates the opportunity to learn and come together – focus on their own intent and share that with each other – was a powerful exercise,” says Valerie Kenworthy, Director of Hospice of Health First. “It has helped to rejuvenate associates and increase their passion and to provide great patient care.”

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