Observing the Effects of the Patient Empowerment ProgramMarch 7, 2023
When I first began to develop the Patient Empowerment Program (PEP) that now stands as a cornerstone to our practice, I knew it needed to be extensive, layered, and long-lasting. My mind works very visually. When I think about the PEP as it stands now, I see an image of a set of nesting dolls. The program’s many tools are housed within—it is structured to provide support within support within support within support—that give patients options for assistance at every level. It is grounding, solid, protective, and embracing.
Not only does the program empower our patients by providing multiple tools and education resources to prepare them for surgery, but equally as important, it addresses their emotional needs pre-operatively and post-operatively. One does not process grief and loss within a specific time frame, and having this open-ended program provides significant comfort as patients move forward. While the support of friends and family is highly beneficial, the program offers a different level of understanding through the connections fostered within our patient community. These meaningful relationships also extend to the partners involved in the program.
The longevity of these connections and how committed those involved are in continuing to pay-it-forward to newly diagnosed individuals never ceases to amaze me. It fills my heart. The program has built and continues to build a community within those nesting dolls that helps to shelter new members and shepherd them through their breast reconstruction experiences.
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