On Nov. 10, Providence Seward Medical and Care Center welcomed the newest member of its leadership team when Amy Mullen became the new director of Mission Integration.
“That position had been open for quite some time,” said Providence Seward CFO Cole White. “In this day and age, especially where we’re all feeling the stress of the world around us – for some people it’s economic stress; for some people it’s isolation – everybody has something that they’re dealing with, and the fact that Amy came in at this time, and being a resource, for not just our patients, for our elders up at Mount Haven, but also for our caregivers, I think it’s just perfect timing.”
The role of Mission Integration is to ensure an organization’s mission, vision and values are integrated throughout every aspect of its operation. As Mullen puts it, “That every employee really sees their connection and their contribution to the mission being lived, as those who are caring for the patients and those who are encountering the folks that we serve.”
Both Providence Seward Medical Center and Providence Seward Mountain Haven are run by Providence Medical Group, a non-profit Catholic healthcare system founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Providence in Montreal, Quebec. Mullen brings a master’s degree in catechetics and evangelization to her post as well as healthcare experience.
“I started my work in healthcare working at a cancer resource center as a program coordinator and grew to love the work of Mission Integration in the Catholic healthcare realm,” she said. “So for the last couple of years I’ve been working towards working as a Mission Integration Manager full-time through my doctoral program through Loyola University of Chicago.”
Mullen expects to obtain her Doctorate in Health Care Mission Leadership from Loyola in 2022. She expressed enthusiasm for putting both her theological education and healthcare experience to work in her role as spiritual caregiver.
“Part of my role is spiritual care for both our residents and our patients at the medical center and here in long-term care, ensuring that they have the spiritual support that they need, some chaplaincy work and also connecting our residents here to the services that they would typically have access to, and obviously things are looking a little different in COVID times, but coordinating those religious services to give access to our residents.”
Assuming her post during the pandemic meant joining the organization during atypical practices, with access to pastors and religious services limited for long term care residents, and Mullen noted that safety protocols can also impact a caregiver’s ability to express their compassion.
“With caregivers sometimes there’s a struggle with all the PPE,” she said. “You have to find different innovative ways to show compassion and care when your mask is covering your smile. Something that one of my colleagues did was, she made these badges where, in addition to the badge that you have, there’s a bigger one that has your name and your role and your face that’s unmasked so that you can show the patient or resident that you’re caring for what your smile looks like and try to incorporate some of that warmth and personalism in the care we deliver.”
Mullen added that on arrival in Seward, she was immediately struck by the courage and tenacity that her colleagues displayed in the face of the pandemic.
“I am truly astounded by the work that has been done and the service that the folks around here have pulled together as a team and really worked hard to make everything work despite hurdles,” she said. “I’m really excited to see what working here looks like when COVID is no longer such a big problem.”
Mullen went on to praise Seward itself, saying that her husband in particular became a fan after previous visits, and their kids are enjoying the snow. But her most glowing praise was for the people.
“It’s definitely great to be welcomed by such a great community,” she said. “The people here have just been awesome.”