Excellence is a familiar value in health care — and for very good reasons. High-quality, safe care is what our patients and community expect, and it’s what they deserve. We have some of the most talented, extraordinary health care professionals in the world here at Christiana Care, and I am inspired by them every day. Excellence is their true north.
But love? That’s still a little surprising to some people. What’s love got to do with health care?
Hippocrates said it this way: “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.”
Lillian Wald, the founder of public health nursing, said that “nursing is love in action.”
The highest compliment that I hear from our patients is, “They took such good care of me; I felt loved.”
Health care is a relationship between human beings. In the best health care, that relationship is a partnership in which each person feels loved.
Love, in this sense, is a deep appreciation of the value and importance of another person. It is the knowledge that as individuals, families and communities, our well-being is interconnected. Love encompasses many concepts, including empathy, compassion, respect and caring — and it is more than just any one of those.
When we practice with love, as health care professionals, we find joy in our work, and we achieve better outcomes. We are attuned to the needs and feelings of the people we serve, and we are aware of our actions and the impact they have. We are caring for the whole person.
And that’s why, at Christiana Care, we make this commitment: “We serve together, guided by our values, Excellence and Love.”
Our values help us to deliver on the promise of The Christiana Care Way. They are essential to our ability to achieve our strategic goals of Optimal Health, Exceptional Experience and Organizational Vitality. And most importantly, they help us to be a health care system that truly impacts health.
Every day, I am privileged to witness our extraordinary caregivers as they find new ways to put love into action. Sometimes they are simple acts: providing a warm blanket to a family member at her loved one’s bedside, or stopping by a patient’s room to say good night at the end of a shift. And sometimes they are momentous acts of courage and selflessness, as they care for patients and families struggling with the most deeply personal matters of life and death.
I am incredibly grateful for the privilege to serve our community, and to work alongside the extraordinary
caregivers of Christiana Care. We’re proud of our achievements, and we’re proud of the values that guide us to always aim higher.