This past holiday season, Docs Who Care, a locum tenens organization that is on contract with KCHD to provide physician services until a full time physician can be hired, sent out a notice to its employees encouraging them to think about what can be done for those people with whom they worked. As part of that effort, Docs Who Care had their very first “Random Act of Kindness” challenge: employees were encouraged to pick a nurse, a fellow doctor, or an employee from one of our partner hospitals and Docs Who Care would provide the nominating person with a budget of $500 to do something special for the recipient.
In choosing the winning story, they wanted to reflect on their providers who are consistently driven to provide compassionate, high-quality medicine to coworkers and patients alike and decided to honor an individual who truly goes out of their way to help others; beyond medical care, someone who has shown genuine empathy and kindness in a tangible way.
Last month, they came to Eads to present Docs Who Care’s first Random Acts of Kindness Award.
This year’s recipient is Kay Hollis, RN. For the past 6 years, Kay has provided care to her community through Weisbrod Memorial Hospital in Eads, Colorado. Born and raised in Eads, Kay returned home after finishing school to be closer to her family.
“I love working in a small hospital,” explained Kay. “I feel like when you know that person, it’s easier to treat them. If you are familiar with what their baseline vitals are, it’s much easier to spot an abnormality when they come into the ER.”
Dr. Chad Knaus, a Docs Who Care provider for the past 2 years, nominated Kay for the award.
“Last spring, there was a snowstorm that closed I-70 into Kansas and routed a lot of traffic south to Eads. We had a young woman in her 20’s on her way home to Kansas City who had an episode of her chronic arrhythmia while at the local gas station. She was brought in by ambulance, and we were able to stabilize and then discharge her,” explained Dr. Knaus.
“By that point, though, it was dark, the roads were closed, and she had two young, exhausted and hungry children. Kay went above and beyond to attend to the needs of the patient. She called every motel within 50 miles to find her a room and even sent her with extra blankets.”
“I could totally identify with what it might feel like to be sick and far away from home,” said Kay. “I wanted to help in any way I could. When you put yourself in the patient’s place, scared to death, sitting in that ER, how can you not try to do everything you can for them?”
When Dr. Knaus presented Kay with the award and check, he spoke of Kay’s professionalism and compassion. “She was a bright spot in an otherwise tough day. Kay’s actions reflect the DWC mission. As healthcare providers, we are often seeing patients at their worst or sometimes on the worst day of their life, and simple kindness and compassion go a long way in comforting the patient. These small things ultimately can make a huge difference!”
Dr. Knaus has had an opportunity to develop life-long friendships with many of the Eads staff. “I enjoy the variety and challenge of working in the clinic, ER, hospital and nursing home, sometimes all in the same day. It’s a nice down-to-earth patient population to work with and the staff are fantastic!”
“I love Dr. Knaus’ humor,” said Kay. “He is hilarious. He’s also compassionate and patient. If you don’t know something, he will teach you how to do it. He doesn’t make you feel silly. I just appreciate him as a person. I love it when I see his name on the Doc schedule!”
“‘Do right by the patient’ is what guides me as a physician,” said Knaus. “My father, who is also a family physician, has modeled this over his 40 year career, and I strive to emulate this every day in my patient care.”
Special thanks to Amy Lucas with Docs Who Care for providing the Independent with content for this article.