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Published on September 24, 2019

program manager Amber Reints helping patient after the storm

The Comfort of the Badge

It is amazing when a disaster or major event takes place, the character that is demonstrated. In the aftermath of recent storms, we have seen the best come out in so many who are wearing the Avera badge.

The hallways, waiting areas, patient rooms and exam rooms within our facilities are really special spaces. In these areas, we meet our patients, loved ones, visitors and our colleagues who feel the comfort of our badge.

The occasion may be filled with nerves or a sense of unknown. It may be a time of celebration of a new birth, fear and worry of a new diagnosis or mourning the loss of a loved one. It may be filled with questions or entirely silent, but there is always the comfort of the badge.

The image posted with this column pictures Amber Reints, Clinical Program Manager at the Avera Behavioral Health Center, guiding a patient after the tornado hit the evening of Sept. 10, 2019, and she was present enough during the chaos to hear the patient say: “God didn’t want me to die tonight.” In this moment, Amber provided the comfort of the badge, as did so many other employees that night.

When a patient or visitor sees that badge, an unspoken sense of calm and reassurance occurs. Most often, they do not pay any attention to credentials or titles, but rather how we make them feel during those important moments. Our behavioral health patients truly felt and continue to feel the comfort of the badge.

Whether patient care tech, housekeeper, nurse, physician, food service, lab tech or executive, we all have the opportunity to embrace our patients with open arms and be beacons of compassion and hospitality through each and every interaction, delivering that comfort of the badge.

Health care is not the only field that carries the comfort of the badge. Law enforcement, emergency response teams, firefighters, those in religious vocations and so many others are all identifiable and trusted community figures. These folks have provided us with a great deal of comfort after the storm.

This column was written by David Flicek, President & CEO, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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