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Meet Hebrew SeniorLife’s Compassionate Caregiver Nominees: Sarah Sjostrom and Uanalee Powell

Uanalee Powell, Resident Assistant in Long-Term Care, with a resident

On November 15, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare will honor the 2016 National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award recipient and five finalists at its annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

This is always an inspiring event that draws 2,000 leaders from hospitals, health plans and health-related associations, as well as members of the biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

The NCCY Award recipients and finalists come from many walks of life, but all have one thing in common: they believe that compassion is great health care.

Each year, Hebrew SeniorLife convenes a group of staff tasked with the difficult challenge of narrowing down our large pool of worthy potential nominees from across HSL sites and selecting the few who will be nominated for this prestigious honor.

We are proud to announce the nomination of two staff members from Hebrew Rehabilitation Center (HRC) in Boston, an integral part of Hebrew SeniorLife. Learn more about them.

Sarah Sjostrom, RN, MSN, ACNP-BC, Director of Nursing & Respiratory Services at the Medical Acute Care Unit at HRC. 

Sarah models compassionate care to the nurses and aids on her team. She is known to be flexible and understanding with her staff when they encounter personal struggles, yet also holds staff accountable for giving their all each day to best support patients and their families. Her team, like Sarah herself, cares for the patient beyond the illness. Her work requires an acknowledgement of the unique struggles of each family she treats, and the honoring of cultural and religious boundaries she may come across while patients are in her care. Sarah has skillfully guided and supported her team many times as they guide a family choosing whether to withdraw life support from a beloved family member, holding in high regard their personal cultural values and choices. Sarah leads with love.

A physician colleague wrote of Sarah:

“Sarah is an extraordinarily patient and compassionate caregiver, effective listener and professional manager. I recall a younger patient with spinal muscle atrophy, osteopenic fractures, complex wounds, pain and depression. She was grappling with the last stages of her life and dissatisfied with many things. Our staff felt stressed and unable to meet expectations. Sarah would see the patient nearly daily, assure that needs were clarified, hold meetings and counsel staff on stress reduction concepts and coordinate with the medical team. She did this with a patient, calm attitude and always a smile.”

The Medical Acute Care Unit is licensed as a long-term acute care hospital and is one of the post acute care units operated by HRC.  The MACU provides highly specialized medical treatment and individualized therapy programs for patients with complex medical conditions. Read more about the MACU here.

Uanalee Powell, Resident Assistant in Long-Term Care

Uanalee has been a loyal Hebrew Rehabilitation Center employee for almost 30 years!

Described as a colleague who “warmly and whole heartedly supports,” Uanalee is an empowered employee who has taken a leadership role in person-centered care. In addition to the many demands and responsibilities of being a direct caregiver, she is a member of the Together Enriching Lives Liaisons (T.E.L.L.) Leadership Team, an interdisciplinary group of staff that creates the agendas for our meetings and upcoming trainings. She is also on the Culture Change Champion committee, a site-specific group of employees who review nominations and select monthly “Culture Change Champions” who exemplify our culture change practices in a meaningful way.

Sarah and Uanalee and the hundreds of HSL employees like them make us proud. It is an honor to publicize their great work and extend our heartfelt congratulations for their achievements. 

About Long-Term Care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center 
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center is reinventing long-term care so seniors can live their best lives. The basic tenet of care at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center is resident preferences come first. Our vision for long-term care emphasizes the dignity, health and independence of seniors. Our innovative programming—along with a dedicated staff of Harvard Medical School-affiliated physicians, geriatric specialists, nurses and more—can be experienced in three communities in Massachusetts: Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Boston, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center Dedham at NewBridge on the Charles, and long-term care at Orchard Cove in Canton. We welcome older adults of all backgrounds, faiths and cultures.

Learn more about HRC long-term care

Bill Burgey's picture

About the Blogger

Health Care Marketing Communications Manager

As a member of the Hebrew SeniorLife marketing communications team, Bill Burgey is responsible for leading marketing initiatives for Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.  He takes great pride in working with staff at all levels of the organization to achieve desired results. 

He is responsible for the recent launch of Hebrew Rehabilitation Center’s long-term care lead generation campaign and works on projects to strengthen branding ties between HSL and its health care services.  Bill works with the marketing teams at Boston area hospitals to develop strategic communications plans around...

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