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Legacy Gift Honors Past and Future

Investing in the health and wellness of nurses

March 30, 2021 Sibley Memorial Hospital staff report

A champion of self-care and wellness throughout her 43-year career at Sibley Memorial Hospital, Patty Haresign, along with her husband David, decided to further invest in Sibley’s community of nurses with a gift from their estate. The Patricia and David Haresign Nursing Support Endowment Fund will foster the health and wellness of nurses at Sibley, a Johns Hopkins community hospital in Washington, D.C.

Patty and David Haresign endowed a fund in their names to support the well-being of nurses at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

While employed at Sibley as a registered nurse, and having served most recently as a clinical educator for enhancing service excellence and the patient experience, Patty was the recipient of philanthropic funds to assist in her completing graduate school, attaining multiple certifications, and attending national conferences. She was also provided with funds to complete a certificate program in health and wellness coaching and since retiring has launched her own business in the field. Supporting Sibley through a philanthropic gift, she says, is her and her husband’s way of giving back.

We spoke with Patty about what this gift means to her and David.

How do you hope this legacy gift will have an impact?

We want to focus on the health and wellness of nurses at all levels within the organization; we trust that the funds will assist in promoting their access to necessary lifelong learning, professional and personal development skills. Our hope is that administrators and leaders will put an increased value on an environment that promotes care for their nurses, demonstrating how stress-reducing strategies can be woven into the workday. This could include routine breaks, mindfulness, starting a shift with positivity, setting an intention, taking the time to use the gym, and more. The end goal is to alleviate feelings of burnout, and in turn our patients will experience clinically-competent, empathetic care in the safest environment.

Why did you choose to support the health and wellness of Sibley’s nurses through the creation of The Patricia and David Haresign Nursing Support Endowment Fund?

The fact that nursing has been regarded as the most honest and ethical profession is a testament to the public’s trust in our ability to care for them. Nurses are committed to patient advocacy and establishing caring relationships with patients and families, even in the most adverse and highly emotional situations. Taking time to listen and understand patients’ emotional needs, observe them closely to assess clinically their physical needs, provide patient education, and administer medications on time, all while being able to turn on a dime to take action in any given moment, are some visible ways our nurses touch patients’ lives.

Yet underneath all of that, what we don’t see is how nurses are constantly using critical thinking skills to make decisions. They have the most updated information on each of their patients and are called to communicate with other nurses, physicians, health disciplines, patients, and families to coordinate care.

Any given shift may also be physically challenging, literally walking miles on the unit or lifting patients and adjusting their positions to ensure proper body alignment and maintain skin integrity. All of this can take an emotional toll, and we have not even mentioned sharing sorrow in the death of a patient with whom they have established a caring relationship or to support a family during this time of loss. Over time, this can lead to nurses exceeding their resources and make a significant impact on their well-being.

Our hope is that this gift will assist in promoting the teachable strategies that help to mitigate compassion fatigue as a side effect of care-giving stress.

Is there anything you would like others to know about Sibley and why they might consider making a gift to support the hospital and its unique programs?

Sibley started as a small community hospital touching many residents in our local neighborhoods. Joining with Johns Hopkins Medicine enhanced Sibley’s ability to deliver world-class care to an expanded community.

In our complex economic and health care environment, I encourage others to discover ways to support a program, a specific service, staff- and leadership-focused education, or an infrastructure that is important to you. Funds are always needed to support professional education and certification, like when it comes to traveling to national conferences where clinicians are kept abreast of evidence-based best practices, share poster presentations, and engage in professional networking.

Whatever the philanthropic motivation, generous support to Sibley’s health care services is a great opportunity to bring to life Sibley’s mission to deliver excellence and compassionate care, every person every time.

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Topics: Faculty and Staff, Friends of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Promote and Protect Health