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Caring for growing families in uncertain times

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | October 23, 2020
From the October 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: Have you had any indications that more women are opting to have home births since the pandemic?
RJ: It’s really interesting because this is our busiest time as a birth center. When we had to start dealing with COVID from March through now, we’ve been at our busiest time of the year. We haven’t seen a decrease in numbers. If anything, COVID puts women at risk for pre-term delivery, so we’ve seen a slight increase in our pre-term visits.

HCB News: Can you give some of the key takeaways learned over the last few months due to the pandemic?
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RJ: I think number one, we can do hard things. With the pandemic hitting us so quickly and without warning, I feel like we did a good job as an organization creating ways to care for our patients without skipping a beat. It took a lot of hard work, collaboration and connections with our community and partners. Second, I think it reiterates the point that we have to take care of the people who are providing care. Our caregivers should be our top priority in healthcare systems. Caregivers feeling supported, and having equipment and tools needed to care for patients, are paramount during something like this pandemic. By taking care of our caregivers we know they can turn around and take care of our patients in the best way they can. Lastly, I would say communications with our families — we have to learn how to do things differently. This pandemic has pushed our entire country and the world into that mindset. I think we’ll see a lot of innovations come out of this. I know healthcare will be at the forefront, so it’s a privilege to be within that bubble and to help guide those innovations.

HCB News: Over your 15 years of working in healthcare, what’s been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
RJ: I would say the thing I learned most, and like I said, I’m a woman of color which is rare in healthcare leadership, is that diversity matters. Different voices matter and whether that’s different voices based on the position you hold, or the role you play — if you’re a doctor or a nurse — your background ethnicity, hearing all those voices, including all those voices, only make us better. That’s part of my leadership core – that we need to surround ourselves with diverse voices in healthcare.

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