Arkansas Hospital Association Health & Science

Our Family Stories

The following article is from Arkansas Hospitals, a custom publication of Vowell, Inc., which also produces Arkansas Money & Politics.

From the time I was a baby, my parents read to me. I have vivid memories of my Mom reading book after Little Golden Book when I was a young child, and later, books we checked out from the library. But my baby days were filled with my Dad reading Shakespearean sonnets or chapters from James Joyce’s Ulysses (he was working on his master’s degree in English at the time).

In fact, when I was in college, I would occasionally read an assignment for class and have a feeling of déjà vu; often, my Dad would say, “Oh yes, I read that to you when you were a baby.”

With that start to my life, it’s no surprise that I’m fascinated with stories. But to me, the best stories aren’t necessarily the ones that make it into books or the daily newspaper – they are the everyday stories of people, living their everyday lives. So many are quietly accomplishing truly amazing things, often without acknowledgement. As Inc. magazine’s Jane Berenson once said, the best stories “unfold in conversations about this and that and nothing in particular.”

This quarter’s magazine theme, Our Hospital Family, grew out of a simple request. We asked representatives of Arkansas hospitals to tell us about interesting people in their facilities, and we struck gold. Not only did we receive awe-inspiring accounts regarding hospital personnel across the board, we also discovered a heartening anthology (our Cover Story in this edition) about true hospital heroes – veteran health care workers serving other veterans in the VA hospital right here in Little Rock.

As people dedicating our lives to hospitals and health care, each of us believes in patient-centered care. An important aspect of patient-centered care focuses on establishing a connection between caregivers and those they serve.

We take these connections a step further in this edition of Arkansas Hospitals, and hope the stories of Our Hospital Family illustrate not only the deep compassion of caregivers for their patients, but also the incredible, loving service these “family” members bring to their communities outside the walls of the hospital.

Happy reading!

Elisa M. White

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