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July 2019

How we celebrated Pride Month

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As administrator at Symphony of Lincoln Park, our team understands that as the healthcare landscape is constantly evolving, our philosophy and creative approach to care must ignite our commitment to stay ahead of this evolution. We must anticipate new developments and create education for our care providers and unique programming for our guests that best serves them. We consider this mission a critical aspect of Symphony’s promise to our guests and their loved ones.

Our care center is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. We have fostered strong relationships with our hospitals and our community. We are ideally positioned to offer our premier care center as a safe haven for all of our guest, including those in the LGBTQA community. As this segment of our community’s population grows older, the desire for skilled nursing and rehabilitation that is tailored to their needs grows as well. Symphony of Lincoln Park aims to free all of our guests of any worry and fear they might experience throughout the process of choosing a care center that best suits them.

In each of its care centers, Symphony Post Acute Network thoughtfully curates its program offerings to reflect the needs of the communities they serve, and the programs at Symphony of Lincoln Park are no exception. Guests and their loved ones who choose Symphony of Lincoln Park for its Palliative Care program take comfort in knowing that we focus on meeting spiritual and emotional needs in addition to physical ones. Guests of our Harmony Memory Care program receive individualized, holistic, activity-based care by providers who are rigorously trained in this area.

But we always want to do more. Oscar Zambrano, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the LGBTQ ombudsman at Advocate Aurora Health, introduced us to the Director of Education at Howard Brown Health’s Center for Education, Research and Advocacy. She spoke with our care center’s key stakeholders regarding the education and training programs they offer.

The philosophies and methodologies she had to share were so compelling, Symphony of Lincoln Park enthusiastically partnered with the Howard Brown Health Center to provide cultural sensitivity training to all of our care providers and staff. It was an eye-opening and reinvigorating experience! Anyone who interacts with our guests — whether part of our housekeeping, dietary, nursing, maintenance, or administration teams — is now required to receive this progressive training. Everyone benefits from learning how to apply deeper cultural sensitivity in their approach to care, but most importantly our guests.

This year Symphony of Lincoln Park celebrated Pride Month with our own parade and celebration prior to the larger Chicago Pride Parade. This celebration succeeded in gathering together guests and staff that might not have been able to attend the larger neighborhood events. It was a great feeling to be able to offer this group an alternative and meaningful way to express their pride and support for LGBTQ rights.

We’ve already begun to see the huge impact of this programming. We are grateful that our strong clinical and community partnerships made it possible to expand our offerings to be more fully inclusive. In addition to our exceptional skilled nursing and aesthetic features, we are honored to welcome our LGBTQA guests and their loved ones into our care center with confidence and even greater compassion.

While we are proud to offer this specialized programming, it’s important to note it’s only one important part of the dynamic nursing care we provide to our guests around the clock. In addition to being accredited by the Joint Commission for both long term and post-acute care, we have strong partnerships with a board-certified infectious diseases physician and in-house nurse practitioners. We have an in-house certified wound care physician and team to serve our guests seven days a week. Our staff also includes licensed clinical social workers, psychiatrists, a physiatrist, pulmonologist, respiratory therapist, and dietician. Our new partnership with telehealth services keeps us at the forefront of clinical care. We provide community resources and education, as well as private recovery rooms to facilitate and speed the recovery process.

Whether it’s celebrating Pride or offering telehealth, the driving force that amplifies our effectiveness is compassionate interactions between our staff and our guests. Because we refuse to stray from this approach we are able to provide a deeper sense of peace and well-being to all of our guests in a safe and welcoming environment.

Source: https://www.mcknights.com/blogs/guest-columns/how-we-celebrated-pride-month/

Author: Moshe Pretter, LNHA, is the administrator at Symphony of Lincoln Park.