Caregiver Honors and the Power of Prose
The Caregiver Honors campaign is a DaVita Village Program that provides several avenues for patients, teammates and caregivers to give thanks for the service excellence our team provides. In addition to the everyday appreciations we may already get for going beyond the call of duty, Caregiver Honors helps us put into words the gratitude we have for those who help give life, in a special way.
When I first implemented the Caregiver Honors program at DaVita Carabello Dialysis Center, I was not quite sure how it was going to be received. My team consisted of only a handful of Spanish-speaking teammates working in a primarily Hispanic patient population. Most of my teammates depend on translators to help them communicate with patients about anything past “Buenos días” or “hace frío.” So when we started to campaign, it did not seem like it was going to produce any outcomes, particularly because many of my teammates have already received acknowledgements for living our Core Values and our Pioneer Principles here in our division. I was afraid they would think it was “too cheesy.” At first, I thought the easiest way to continue campaigning was through Grateful Grams, which are simple notes of appreciation for anything the sender wants to acknowledge—big or small. In the beginning, the grams were completed by teammates, for teammates only. Some were heartfelt, and some were fun and lighthearted.
I decided to add another layer of appreciation, and told my team that for anyone who received the most Grateful Grams at the end of each week, they would get something extra special. My teammates began handing out the blank grams to their patients and explained what they were all about, for this prize. We only received a few completed grams from patients, initially, and I realized that patients were not completing the grams because they could not read or write in English. I decided to translate the Grams into Spanish, printed extra Spanish versions, and the results thereafter were amazing. We received over 50 grams in just one week, most of them in Spanish of course. After translating all the grams, the team was ecstatic to know how much their patients truly appreciated them, even though they can’t express it the way they think we would understand.
Today, I have posted all of the written grams in the clinic for our team and guests to appreciate. I told my teammates that the “extra special” prize for having the most grams would be a gift from our Carabello SWAG Box, but I think the kind words from patients in their native language is perhaps the most special prize yet. Patients felt honored for being able to express thanks for their care, and my team truly felt valued for the life-saving care they provide, every day.