curious aboutcompassi Curious about compassion? n?

"I think the Schwartz Center is the perfect antidote for this changing world of medicine, because it reminds people that it's really all about the patient-caregiver relationship." -Katie Couric
Talk Show Host, Cancer Advocate, and Best-Selling Author
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WHAT IS COMPASSIONATE HEALTHCARE?

Compassion consists of good communication, emotional support, trust, respect, and working to prevent and manage illness. It means being treated as a person, not an illness. read more

When I think about what my father went through, and what my mother and I experienced on the other side of the hospital bed, it felt like a hurricane. The deepest of emotions and darkest of memories swirling around in a cloud of anxiety, extreme fear and confusion – and in the center of my family's storm, we found our own personal calm in my father's caregiver. Jane D., Family Member
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WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF COMPASSIONATE HEALTHCARE?

Communicating information in a way I understand, involving me in decisions about my care, listening attentively, treating me like a person, showing respect for me and my family and spending enough time with me. read more

Patients are strangers in a strange land. They are surrounded by equipment that looks strange and people who speak a different language. It's an intimidating experience. It's our responsibility to see patients through it safely and compassionately - and to always put ourselves on the other side of the johnny. Ken Tucker, MD
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I have been touched by the smallest kind gestures - a squeeze of my hand, a gentle touch, a reassuring word. In some ways, these quiet acts of humanity have felt more healing than high-dose radiation and chemotherapy that hold the hope of a cure. Ken Schwartz, Schwartz Center Founder
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WHY IS
COMPASSIONATE HEALTHCARESO IMPORTANT?

According to a national poll, more than 80% of patients and 70% of doctors believe compassionate care can make a life or death difference. read more

  • 80 Percent

    More than 80% of patients believe compassionate care can make a life or death difference.

  • 76 Percent

    More than 70% of doctors believe compassionate care can make a life or death difference.

Beth A. Lown, Julie Rosen and John Marttila. An Agenda for Improving Compassionate Care: A Survey Shows About Half of Patients Say Such Care is Missing. Health Affairs, 30, no.9 (2011):1772-1778.
I stand before you as a patient, not as a doctor. We are all patients. If you are not one, then one day you will be. It's an inevitable truth of life. Pradeep Chopra, MD, 2013 Schwartz Center
Compassionate Caregiver Award Recipient

WHAT CAN I DO AS A FAMILY MEMBER?

To ensure that your loved one receives compassionate care:

  • Offer to sit in on medical visits that might be important to uncovering the source of your loved one’s health problems or barriers to treatment, if your family member experiences language barriers or anxiety communicating with a caregiver.
  • Compile a list of questions to ask, take notes, and communicate medical instructions and advice to your loved one and family members, if your family member is seriously ill or cannot be his or her own advocate.
  • Get to know your family member’s caregivers and show an interest in them. Let them know you are available to help.
  • Balancing your loved one’s needs with your own can be a challenge. Take care of yourself and visit our family resource page for help.
  • Say thank you to your loved one’s caregiver through a donation to the Schwartz Center as part of the Honor Your Caregiver movement and give others the opportunity to experience the compassion your family member did. We will in turn send a certificate on your behalf to honor this caregiver.
  • Nominate your loved one’s caregiver or team for the annual National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, which recognizes one healthcare provider or team at the Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner, who displays extraordinary devotion and compassion.

WHAT CAN I DO AS A PATIENT?

Compassionate care is a two-way street. As much as patients and their families want to be treated with compassion, it can be challenging for caregivers to show compassion in today’s fast-paced healthcare environment. Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Come to medical appointments not only with your questions, but also willing to share your concerns.
  • Tell your caregiver what’s important to you, how involved you want to be in your care, and how much emotional support you need.
  • Ask your caregiver to explain any medical terms you don’t understand.
  • Show an interest in your caregiver as a person. Remember many caregivers are under stress and need our support.
  • Say thank you through a donation to the Schwartz Center as part of the Honor Your Caregiver movement and give others the opportunity to experience the compassion you did. We will in turn send a certificate on your behalf to honor this caregiver.
  • Nominate your caregiver or team for the annual National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year (NCCY) Award, which recognizes one healthcare provider or team at the Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner, who displays extraordinary devotion and compassion.
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