Creating a culture that cares

Updated: Sep 15, 2019


I remember reading stories in the Edmonton Journal about patients being stuck in Emergency for days and people being mistreated by the health care system.


But I didn't think it would ever happen to me. And to be honest, I didn't really believe what I read in the newspaper. It couldn't be that bad. Could it?


Well, I found out the hard way that sometimes it is that bad. And a lot of health care providers feel helpless to do anything about it.


But it doesn't have to be that way.

Dr. Curtis Johnston presenting Barbara May with an award at the 2017 Patient & Provider Care Summit
Dr. Curtis Johnston presenting Barbara May with an award at the 2017 Patient & Provider Care Summit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

By working together, patients and providers can improve the health care system and create a culture that cares.


In his opening remarks at the 2017 Patient & Provider Care Summit, Dr. Curtis Johnston talks about the impact my patient experience had on him as a leader, "Barbara's willingness [to share her story] has impacted me in a very remarkable way. It has impacted our journey as a hospital."


He goes on to describe some of the changes they are making at the Royal Alexandra Hospital to improve the patient experience and presented me with an award for having the courage to show them the difference between care and caring.


I am grateful for the health care providers who saved my life and encouraged by Dr. Johnston's willingness to hear my story and use it as a catalyst for creating a culture that cares.



Below is a transcription of the video from Dr. Curtis Johnston's opening remarks at the 2017 Patient & Provider Summit and Barbara May's comments after receiving the Care & Caring Award.

00:00:00.01

[Dr. Curtis Johnston] - In 2011 a forty-six year old lady was admitted to our hospital almost dying from a pulmonary embolism.


Barbara had been sick for about three weeks of chronic bronchitis. And, uh, or not chronic. Acute bronchitis. And had been sicker and she'd been coughing up some blood and she'd been getting worse.


And one day when she was out in the backyard with her dog she collapsed into a lawn chair and passed out.


She had to drag herself into the house.


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