Author Archives: Pyxiscare Management

MEET THE TEAM, LAUREN C.

The nurses at PyxisCare collaborate and support each other to find the best care for our clients. We look at the big picture, not just a medical diagnosis, to help our families.”

–Lauren C., Nurse Client Advocate, RN

Please join us in welcoming registered nurse (RN) and nurse client advocate (NCA) Lauren C. to the PyxisCare team. We sat down with Lauren to talk about her role with PyxisCare.

Tell us how you chose nursing as your professional calling?  Nursing is my second career. I studied public relations in college, and my first job out of college was in the sports industry but I knew there was another career for me. My mom was a nurse and this field always intrigued me, so I went back to college.  I’ve been practicing for more than a decade and I enjoy every aspect of this field.  I am especially interested in the analytical side of nursing, understanding how the body works and analyzing data.

What is your role at PyxisCare? As a nurse client advocate, I use a holistic approach to help clients manage complicated health care situations. When I first meet a family, I begin with an assessment and formulate a plan. I examine all aspects of their situation including medical, psycho-social, environmental and financial factors.

Recently, we engaged a client who suddenly developed a serious, permanent medical condition. She was living in an assisted living facility but needed a higher level of care.  We looked at all aspects of her situation: With her new condition, what type of help would she need? What was her financial situation? Did a family member have Power of Attorney? What is the best fit for her:  at home with a caregiver or in a nursing home? I worked closely with her and her family to honor and meet her needs as an individual, not just someone defined by her medical condition. We value the whole person at PyxisCare and these are some of the things we consider when we meet a new client.

 What unique skills will you bring to PyxisCare?  My prior experience includes navigating complex cases in a variety of roles. Prior to joining PyxisCare, I worked in the Quality Compliance and Risk department at a hospital.  I was part of a team that analyzed data to enhance the patient experience. How can we decrease infections?  Is the hospital meeting state and federal guidelines?  Are we turning patients frequently so they are not getting ulcers?  Navigating complex medical situations transfers well to my role at PyxisCare. I adapt quickly to unique situations to ensure our clients are getting the best possible care.

I enjoy working with all clients, but I have a heart for the disabled and those with mental health issues. In an earlier role, I cared for disabled children with conditions such as cerebral palsy and rare neurological diseases. Many of these children are here for only a short time, but they have a huge impact. One client was nonverbal, but she could communicate what scared her, and what made her happy.  She lived in her own world, and I felt so grateful to be a part of increasing her quality of life.  I also enjoy working with people with serious mental illness. As a nurse, I’m devoted to supporting vulnerable populations.

 Why did you choose PyxisCare? The objective of the organization is brilliant. We work as a team to advocate for individuals or families facing life challenges by providing expertise and management to improve their quality of life. Our approach is holistic; we look at the big picture, not just the disease or diagnosis. The nurses collaborate and support each other to find the best care for our clients. There is a lot of collaboration between the staff. For example, if I’m not finding the best solution for a client, I can call another nurse on the team for assistance. I am excited to be part of the PyxisCare team.

NEW for 2022: FREE Holistic Wellness Apps

Going into our third consecutive year of the pandemic means we need all the support we can get.  Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, so enjoy this curated list of completely free resources that could make a huge difference in your emotional and mental well-being this year.

Scroll through the unique ways one could choose to destress – from workouts, to coloring, to reading. Some days I get frustrated with technology, but apps and remote personal services have come a long way. At $0.00, try them all, and Happy New Year!

  1. Tara Brach Meditation – It Works!

While there are lots of resources for meditation, Tara Brach is one of the best. Her website contains completely free guided meditations in multiple categories including basic, heart, and open awareness meditations. My favorite one so far, posted in January of this year is titled “What Matters to your Heart?” If meditation is your relaxation technique of choice, this option is for you.

  1. The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App

Meditation too calm?  Need something a bit more… active? The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App is a circuit training workout app that lets you squeeze exercise into your day at an intensity level that’s right for you. All you need is a chair and about seven minutes. The app has other options beyond the classic seven-minute routine, such as First Timer, Intermediate 16 Minute, and Core Workout. You can also create custom workouts by combining exercises right for you. Swipe the screen one direction, and you can pull in music from your phone. Swipe the other direction, and you see a running timer. This simple app is suitable for nearly anyone at any ability level at no cost.

3. Charity Miles: Start a Healthy Addiction

If running, walking, or bicycling are more your speed, we recommend Charity Miles. Use Charity Miles to log miles and they will donate to a non-profit, thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors who agree to donate a few cents for every mile you complete. In exchange, you see their logos. You can also use the app to run pledge drives. Charity Miles supports a variety of nonprofit organizations, such as ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, UNICEF, Save the Children, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Knowing that your activity supports charitable causes might just motivate you to move every day.

4. Yoga with Adriene: Find What Feels Good

Yoga with Adriene is a free Youtube Channel offering high quality videos for all levels, all bodies, all genders, and all souls. Adriene urges her viewers and subscribers to “Make time for you. Go deeper, have fun. Connect. Reconnect. Do your best, be authentic and “FIND WHAT FEELS GOOD” So if yoga is your go-to way to fight stress, this Youtube channel is for you.

5. A Crafty Way to Heal: DIY Bath Salts

The relaxation benefits of a warm bath and crafting are divine. Imagine combining them to create a project that will leave you feeling accomplished and relaxed. The link below includes 31 Homemade Bath Salt recipes that you can make with things you already have in your pantry! With salt, baking soda, oils, herbs, and fragrances of your choice, you can create the ultimate relaxation experience at little cost. https://www.sunrisespecialty.com/diy-bath-salts

6. Atmosphere

The undisputed champion of relaxation is sleep. A free favorite resource is Atmosphere, which customizes your sleeping environment though sound. Sounds include waves, rain, animals, traffic, music, fans and even their special binaural and isochronic sounds which can reduce anxiety, relax breathing, and even aid in healing. You can pick and choose different sounds from different scenes to create the perfect customized sleep atmosphere for you at absolutely no cost. Happy napping!

7. Free Playlists: From Pandora to Spotify

Many of us turn to music to process and destress from a hard day. Only you know what music brings you calm and healing. No matter where you find your music, you can find a specially curated playlist designed to aid in destressing. Try Pandora’s Relaxation station. Spotify offers several playlists geared toward relaxing. Youtube has a channel titled Soothing Relaxation. FREE, FREE and FREE.

8. Coloring Book for Adults: A Free App

The benefits of coloring for the mind are unquestionable. I’ve done the research and this app has MORE free options than other coloring apps. Coloring Book for Adults offers 168 colors – and all are free! You get 8 free drawings in the Relaxation category, plus several other categories. If you DO become addicted, you can buy a subscription and expand your choices. This coloring app is available on both iOS and Android.

9. The Libby App: Free & Easy Reading

Reading is relaxing and for the ultimate in convenience – the Libby app connects with the library closest to you through your library card and allows you to check out Kindle and other audiobooks.  Download Libby if you want the ability to escape into a fantasy romance, thrilling mystery, or historical biography with absolute ease.

10. Private Journaling? Yes, please, with Penzu

Penzu is a free online journal where you can type to your heart’s content. No one is going to steal a look at your innermost thoughts, because your secrets are password protected. Penzu also offers an app so you can. write or access an entry on the go. You can choose to purchase Penzu Pro which unlocks some design options, but all of the basic features are free, AND free of the annoying “buy now” reminders. While there are newer online journaling options, Penzu continues to have the best features available under the free option.

11. Crackle: Sometimes, TV is the answer

It’s a stretch to call TV “wholistic wellness” but really, we all use TV to zone out sometimes.  And that might be just what you need. Crackle is a free streaming option created by Sony with popular titles from the past such as Abbott and Costello, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bonanza, The Greatest American Hero and many more. With a quick sign up, you get access to all of the shows and movies on their platform at no cost. So, if a little old fashioned feel-good TV is your destressing method of choice, Crackle is definitely the way to go.

As we move into a new year, we hope you find your way to better mental and physical health. I hope the resources above give you the break you deserve.

Mindy

A Fresh Start for 2022…or is it 2020, too?

Each January, we have a chance to begin anew.  Like most humans, I’m an optimist and always look for ways to improve myself, my family, my business and my team. I’ve found good advice, top trends, new knowledge, new technology and fresh tips so I can continue to do a little better, year after year. And I’ll share a few, below.

There are some realities we cannot escape.

For instance, the fact that we have just entered into the third calendar year of the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as we’d like to move on, it’s not exactly a bad habit we can shake. I have resolved to be more tolerant of the many phases an individual goes through as they navigate this long and exhausting multi-year health crisis.

This time last year, vaccines were becoming more widely available, which gave us all hope for a better year.  And now, anti-virals and other treatments are making their way into the marketplace.  But I’m also seeing schools consider going online again and countries shutting their borders for travel.

At this point, I’d say it’s more of a not-so-merry-go-round instead of a roller coaster.

How We’ll Do 2022

This year’s top trends echo last year’s most important areas of focus. And the first of those just happens to be one of PyxisCare’s aspects:

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: Health & Wellness Everywhere

Environment has always been a key aspect of how we evaluate our clients’ safety and wholistic wellness. In some ways, environment is THE determining factor (besides genetics) for how a person is able to manage and improve their health.

Safe environments for PyxisCare clients often mean environmental adjustments for elderly clients or use of advanced technology resources for disabled clients.

Wellbeing in the workplace is largely predicated on the work environment.  Those who have the ability to work from home or remotely can control risk factors like the spread of illness, air and light quality, noise and other controllable issues. However, much of the workforce transacts in person in retail or food establishments, meaning they have little control over what happens during work hours.

Employers are taking note and making their environments more appealing and safer with upgraded air filtration systems, open air spaces, and other small adjustments that they hope will help recruit and retain teams. These “perks” may even convert to real savings on premiums as insurance companies take note of workplace improvements. It’s been gratifying to help businesses large and small negotiate for better rates and build plans that allow for flexibility and better health for employees.

ALL EYES ON MENTAL HEALTH: 

If you haven’t noticed, mental health is on everyone’s minds. Another by-product of the pandemic, people are seeking outlets for their frustration, fear and exhaustion. As evidenced by PyxisCare’s clients, employers are taking more notice of not only the environmental conditions under which they work – as described above – but also the mental wellness of their workforce.

With nearly 40 million leaving the workforce in 2021, it was the year of “The Great Resignation” with many just saying that the wage did not justify the emotional toll the position.  As we have discussed, healthcare workers – especially nurses -are among the industries suffering the most.

Virtual care visits have become the norm as technology caught up with our needs. Even online appointments for mental health can be difficult to come by, as providers are overrun and in need of their own mental health vacation.

Mental health awareness (also known as psychosocial in PyxisCare’s priorities) isn’t new and it’s not going away, but personally I’m glad that more people are talking about it than ever.

KINDNESS & SINCERITY:

Ok well, I made this one up.  But there’s no harm in making a New Year’s wish – is there? In actuality, it IS a trend as people try to stem the tide of frustration, political division and health concerns, and learning to live in uncertain times. Humanity is craving togetherness after months of social distance and isolation.  Really – wouldn’t we all like a little Ted Lasso or British Baking Show in our lives? If this isn’t a trend, I say it’s a great beginning for 2022.

Happy New Year – I expect great things from 2022, and I wish you health and happiness.  

Mindy

PYXISCARE EXPERT PROFILE Q&A: Dr. Tonya Cunningham Life After Loss

There must be an understanding of the language of grief, such as learning the difference between grieving and mourning. Everyone grieves but not everyone allows themselves to mourn.”              

Dr. Tonya Cunningham, Certified Life Coach and Grief Counselor

Tell us more about your work….what is a grief counselor?   I am a Speaker, Grief Counselor, Transitional Life Coach, and Author with emphasis on loss and life transitions. I’m the Bereavement Coordinator for Bristol Hospice Pathways. I’m also a Grief Counselor/Grief Coach for Tonya Cunningham Ministries, LLC. A Grief Counselor is one that is skilled to help people cope with the emotional, physical, social, spiritual, and cognitive responses to loss.

Why is grief such an issue around the holidays?  The holidays are generally steeped in tradition and customs surrounding family and friends. It’s a time when we express love towards one another as well as remember those who are less fortunate and partake in acts of service to other people. If you’ve suffered a loss, especially the death of a loved one, the holiday season may intensify the pain you are feeling. Some refer to this season as a time when one will experience ‘the holiday blues’.

What are the phases of grief?  Elisabeth Kubler- Ross is the grief pioneer known for the five stages of dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. She was careful to make clear that not all survivors move through these stages in sequence. Some vacillate between stages as well as experiencing emotions from all 5 stages simultaneously. Some theorists argue that there are more stages. Nonetheless, Kubler-Ross gives us a foundational framework to build upon in understanding the unique grief experience.

How can people process grief?   There must be an understanding of the language of grief, such as learning the difference between grieving and mourning. Everyone grieves but everyone does not allow themselves to mourn. Grief is an emotional, internal response to any kind of loss. Mourning is the external expression of grief. To process grief, one must first be willing to acknowledge they are experiencing grief and the need to process it. Everyone grieves the same because it’s an emotional response. However, our expression of grief through mourning is different. The basic form of processing it is acknowledging it, journaling about it, seeking help through counseling/therapy/support group, and other channels.

You’re known as the Grief Doctor – what motivates you to specialize in this area of helping people?  It’s a calling, a ministry. I set out in life to be the best female embalmer on earth. Well, that didn’t work out! I was an Instructor at Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and was given the course, Grief Psychology, to teach. The passion for grief education began at that moment. As a new Instructor, I noted that at least one student would walk out of class each session. What I learned is that I was teaching a subject that was uncomfortable for those who had not processed their grief. My passion for helping others in grief grew from there.

Anything else you would like to share with our readership?   Covid-19 leveled the playing field, turning our world upside down, forcing us to address taboo subjects such as grief, depression, anxiety, etc. I encourage everyone to take care of their mental health.

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

This isn’t a Christmas story.  But it’s the right time to talk about trauma, depression and how you may be able to help someone. The holidays are a time of joy for so many of us, but it’s not that simple for everyone.

According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), people with mental health issues tend to suffer more during the holidays.  64% of people who struggle say the holiday season is much harder on them.

Holiday Blues

The holiday blues are common for all of us.  It’s extraordinarily busy and the expectations to deliver a perfect holiday season to family and friends is immense – beautifully prepared meals, the right gifts, parties, celebrations. But what if you have no parties to go to, no one to share a meal with, no gifts? Isolation and loneliness are damaging to your mental health.  What if there are other factors you’re worried about – finances or chronic health conditions?

We are celebrating the spirit of the season this year more than ever and I am grateful for my family’s health. But in all honesty, this year has been a difficult one – we have experienced sadness and trauma beyond the normal trials and stresses of a busy family of four.

 We lost a teenage friend to suicide and it was devastating. Earlier this year, my children’s school was locked down for an active shooter situation. They were safe and the school did the best they could, but it was a harrowing experience for all of us, trying to make contact, and trying to retrieve them, to have them safely with me. I and my PyxisCare team deal with medical crisis daily, but this was frightening, intense and I think about it often.  Especially with the recent school shooting in the news, I know we will continue working through those events.

Pay Attention, Offer Support

It’s not surprising there’s a skyrocketing need for mental health services and a focus on wellbeing. I know where and how to access support, and I still have to remind myself to slow down, be thoughtful with my loved ones, and to be kind to strangers who I come across. I don’t know what’s happening in their lives and what they might be dealing with – perhaps trauma like ours, or stress or loss of a job or a spouse or a difficult diagnosis.  I encourage you, as I encourage myself during this busiest of times, to be on the lookout for anyone you think might be struggling this holiday season. A simple question or greeting could make the difference for someone. This year, when I say “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!” or “How are you?” I’m going to do my best to mean it…and to listen for an answer.

–Mindy

MEET THE TEAM, MICHELLE F.   

Hospice and palliative care views end of life care holistically; it helps bridge the communication gap between patients, their families and doctors.”

 

–Michelle F., Nurse Client Advocate, Nurse Practitioner, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, CHPN

 

PyxisCare Management welcomes nurse practitioner Michelle F.  With more than ten years working in palliative and hospice care, Michelle brings a high level of compassion and expertise to our company. We sat down with Michelle to discuss how she found her calling and how her position at PyxisCare will bring value to our clients.

Tell us how you chose nursing as your professional calling?  I was a professional violinist with the Dallas Symphony before I became a nurse. I started my music career very young, and this was all I knew.  After developing a repetitive motion injury, it was time to pursue a new career.

Nursing offered a broad range of opportunities, so I pursued my RN degree, and soon after I got my master’s degree and became a nurse practitioner.  When I worked as an RN in ICU, I realized I preferred the human connection part of nursing over wrapping wounds and giving shots. I recall working in ICU one time, with a family struggling to understand their hard choices regarding life support. The doctors at the time were not able to help the family truly understand their options, so I walked into the patient’s room and sat down for an hour to explain everything.  That moment made me realize I wanted to go into hospice care.

What sparks your passion for working with end-of-life care?  I appreciate the beauty and grace that comes with end-of-life care. It is so rewarding to work with families and help them navigate this very delicate, but precious part of the life cycle. I have witnessed many beautiful stories with the families I’ve worked with. I’ve held many hands of patients’ who were dying alone. I often say that I can’t make it less sad, but I can help make it less stressful and less chaotic.

Why did you choose PyxisCare and what unique skills do you offer?   I love the holistic approach of PyxisCare.  The company digs deep into every aspect of managing healthcare and wellness. PyxisCare considers not just the physical symptoms of a disease, but also the psychosocial, nutritional, environmental, legal and financial needs. I have experience working in all these areas, plus I am certified in palliative and hospice care.

As a hospice and palliative care nurse, I help open doors of communication and encourage discussion between the patient and family.  I talk to them about available and relevant options. The medical field, by necessity, is very specialized.  Many adults have multiple illnesses- and they see a specialist that only focuses on one specific illness.

Employees facing a health care crisis, or a dying parent will have many complicated decisions to make. A caring and experienced nurse client advocate will help them discover what options are available, and how to access these services.  This not only benefits the employee but the employer as well because the employee’s stress and time spent trying to navigate the healthcare maze will be decreased.

How would you explain the difference between palliative and hospice care?

Palliative care focuses on symptom management. It helps the family and patient understand and clarify goals of care when a cure is not an option. Palliative care is best started when a new diagnosis is made. Hospice care begins when you stop treatment for an illness. It focuses on quality of life versus increasing a person’s life through treatment such as chemo.  When a patient reaches hospice care, life-saving treatment has ended, and the focus is on making the patient comfortable so the transition into end-of-life will be as peaceful and dignified as possible.

How does advance planning intersect with hospice and palliative care?   Health care goals and conversations about end of life are complicated and they can be awkward to start, but these conversations need to be started in times of good health! Advance directives are an important, basic place to start health care conversation. Advance directives are not because you have a disease, but because your life matters.

And it’s not just one conversation. As health status changes, the conversations necessarily become more specific and detailed.  Waiting to have these medical goal conversations until a major crisis is stressful and overwhelming- and sadly, it is what most often occurs.

Tell us a little more about yourself.

I met my husband playing in the Dallas Symphony. We have one child in high school and two college graduates. I don’t play my violin professionally anymore, but I am a patron of the symphony.  I love to hike and read all types of books; I consider myself a life-long learner.

Questions About Medicare? What you Need to Know. Expert Profile: Angela Smith, Certified Healthcare Access Associate

 


“Our support allows clients to know and utilize the best possible options both in quality and cost.”         
                                                                          — Angela Smith

Angela is a nationally Certified Healthcare Access Associate with expertise in insurance verification and background. She has been working with insurance for over 25 years and it is one of her joys to help people meet their healthcare goals.

Help us establish some basics and tell us about the different parts of Medicare.

As of 2021, Medicare includes Part A which is inpatient and Part B which is outpatient services which includes doctor’s visits, radiology, and any other high-tech services. At this time, Medicare does not cover certain outpatient services like dental, vision, and bariatric surgery which are highly requested benefits for Medicare patients.

We are seeing promotions for Medicare Advantage and Part C. Can you give us an overview?  Medicare Advantage plans allow you take your Medicare Plan A or B and sign it over to a more structured benefit plan with a company like United Healthcare, Humana, Aetna or Cigna. These offer plans for a more structured benefit and the ability go to specific doctors and hospitals. They also cover what traditional Medicare will not cover, such as dental and vision. While traditional Medicare A or B is administered by the government, Medicare Advantage Plans or Part C are administered by private carriers and are more comprehensive.

Both plans also offer the drug benefit, which traditional Medicare does not offer. The drug benefit is highly recommended as most Medicare patients have high-cost medications and they don’t have a supplement plan which is usually obtained with traditional Medicare. The high cost of medication can be prohibitive for many older adults. The drug plan is known as Part D acquired either through a Medicare Advantage Plan or a supplement plan with traditional Medicare. So the options are either to acquire traditional Medicare Part A and B plus a supplement or a Medicare Advantage Plan which offers the same benefits of the traditional Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D.

Let’s talk about enrollment and eligibility. Who is currently eligible for Medicare?

Traditional Medicare is for people 65 or older or who qualify for disability. Individuals are NOT automatically enrolled in Medicare at 65. Go to medicare.gov or ssa.gov to learn more. If you do not enroll upon turning 65, there are penalties for a later enrollment.

Are you enrolled in Part A and Part B at the same time or are they separate enrollments?

Enrollment is traditionally based on need. Some people only get Part A with a supplement. You do not automatically qualify for A and B. It is based on your social security status and how long you have worked. They tell you what you qualify for.

Do you suggest adults approaching age 64 find someone who will guide them in their choices Is that correct?    Absolutely. No one wants to choose incorrectly or accrue penalties. Traditional Medicare only covers 80% and you are responsible for the other 20% unless you have a supplement. If you have a supplement plan, they pick up the 20%. But supplement plans are expensive and don’t cover everything you need including medications, supplies, some dental, and some chiropractic.

What if you are still working at age 65? Should you still enroll in Medicare?

Yes, you should. You should always enroll in Medicare. Your employer’s insurance will be primary and Medicare will be secondary.

We are in open enrollment now! Can you share any new or exciting changes? 

Of course! This coming year, Medicare Advantage Plans are offering meals delivered to your home and physical fitness options for seniors for gyms and physical fitness plans. They are also offering an allotment each month for over-the-counter medicines to be delivered to your home including Tylenol, cough syrup and cough drops.

Where is the best place to find information online?   My favorite website to go to for open enrollment is Ehealth.com. It allows you to input your information without commitment an is the best online navigator I’ve come across. You include your doctor’s information and medications. It also allows you to compare which plans are best for you in your designated area. Unlike Medicare.gov, which is not customer friendly, Ehealth breaks down everything for you and shows you your estimated costs for the year based on your location, medications, and the services you need.

 

 

The Power of Team

When you’re taking care of someone’s health and wellbeing, teamwork is EVERYTHING. You want the people on your side to understand what teamwork means. At PyxisCare, we work together toward a common vision of improving health, wellness and quality of life.

I’m still glowing from the best time I’ve spent all year, which was our team’s Gratitude Day a few weeks ago. In this most challenging year, we took a day to count our blessings and celebrated our accomplishments. Our team motto has been “mask up, glove up, show up” and this mighty team has met that goal with shining resilience.

We took the time to discuss the many events that transpired this year; there was personal growth, loss and lots of joy. It was marvelous to hear the laughter of our hardworking group, and witness true bonding. It was a day of reflection and relaxation, which is precisely what we needed.

Like any business owner, I’ve done everything I can to make my business successful. And the first priority is making the people who work at PyxisCare a high performing and valued team. I start by choosing the right people. Intelligence, empathy, critical thinking and a creative mind with a great attitude aligns with our goal of caring for others.

Like others, we have had challenges with remote work and the isolation of 2020. Now more than ever, fostering collaboration and communication between team members is crucial to maintaining all that PyxisCare stands for with our clients.

I took the opportunity to capture our day, so I can look back on the moments that build culture and make us a team. Our clients look to these faces for empathy, confidence and expertise.

I look at these faces, and I’m inspired.

When Help Arrives: A Love(s) Letter to Customer Service

One of my favorite things to talk about is self-care. I mean, I talk about it a lot. At leadership events, as a mentor, and with my team. Because, at PyxisCare we have a busy team of women and men who balance their personal lives with the lives of those we serve as care managers. This can be emotional and draining, so our philosophy has always been about “whole person care.”

I love talking about whole-person care so much, that sometimes I forget to do it. And recently, I paid the price for neglecting the basics.

A few weeks ago I decided (at the last minute…because….planning) to take my two young kids on a road trip to surprise my family in Indiana, whom we don’t see nearly enough. The kids and I love a road trip and I can prepare for them in my sleep. Healthy snacks, a YETI full of waters, all devices charged, podcasts downloaded, and all the things that get us comfortable on our 10-hour trip.

That week was a very high energy week with onboarding new clients and nurse client advocates; a business pitch and integrating a new training system. I was ready to get on the road, but I was also exhausted from working night and day to get everything done.

Fast forward a few hours and it’s midnight in rural Tennessee. Quiet, dark, remote. The kids are asleep and I’m at peace. I have time to think big thoughts, with the long, lonely road ahead of me. And then I ran out of gas. Just like that.

I know the gaslight must have been on for 30 miles, but I didn’t see it. Or it didn’t register. Maybe because I was so anxious for a moment alone–a moment of quiet with no one needing anything from me. Unfortunately, my car DID need something from me, and without it, it couldn’t go on.

The closest gas station was a Love’s Travel Stop –several miles down the road. I called them in a panic, hoping someone would answer the phone (because who does

these days?) hoping they were open, and hoping they were closer than Google Maps said so the kids and I could walk there.

Thank goodness they answered the phone. Store manager Greg Chandler, who had just clocked out for the evening, listened to my story. I was apologetic and embarrassed. He was kind and concerned. And then, he came to my rescue. He brought gas and made sure three people he had never met before, got home safely.

Greg was off the clock. I don’t know the truck stop industry. But I’m guessing by midnight on a Friday night he had seen and dealt with a lot of things I’ll never know about. I’m eternally grateful and humbled by his human kindness. Also called customer service.

@LovesTravelStops made good old-fashioned customer service come to life for me in a way I never expected. Good culture breeds kindness and caring. As a customer and as the owner of a service company, I learn over and over that customer service isn’t a joke. It’s a practice and something that you work for every day. And something that you reward team members for modeling.

You might think this story is about me and how I got bailed out of a stupid situation. But it’s not. In fact, I’m a little sheepish about telling this story. I wasn’t following my own rules about preparation and self-care. I found myself in a vulnerable position, and I needed someone to step up. Luckily, this story is about what can happen when you raise your hand and ask for help.

This story is about Greg, the value of kindness and the generosity of customer service. It’s about the amazing people of Love’s Travel Stops that came to my rescue. It’s about a culture that fosters a sense of responsibility for people. That night, I knew my family MATTERED to them. I knew we were being CARED FOR; and I knew we were SAFE.

I hope that my clients feel that same way after each and every interaction with PyxisCare and our people. That’s our purpose and that’s our aim.

 

We appreciate the extraordinary reminder, all in a day’s work @LovesTravelStops.

This Business is Personal

 

 

These days, every CEO and management expert says that “people” or “employees” are the key to success. It’s practically irresponsible to NOT say it in every leadership article or business speech that you find.

This is a business…but let’s be clear…care coordination and navigation is THE MOST PERSONAL of businesses. We work with people going through some of the lowest, most frightening and challenging points in their lives.

When I established PyxisCare, I didn’t want to just start “a business,” I wanted to help people.

So, we hire people who want to serve others. Our planning conversations at work are about how we can improve lives — how we can alleviate stress and confusion for families —how we can enable companies to support their teams—how we can save time and provide peace of mind—–and about how we can bring clients back to health or stability.

This is the first in a series that celebrates the team that works together at PyxisCare. The caring individuals who do everything from create strategic care plans and advocate at doctor appointments, to ensuring that your loved ones are in safe environments.

I’m proud of the PyxisCare Management team. At the beginning, it was just one registered nurse and myself, building trust with a handful of clients. Today, we have worked closely with hundreds of clients to bring peace of mind to families and improve outcomes for wonderful people.

Over the years, each nurse, each care coordinator, each team member is carefully recruited and trained to ensure that we are providing the most consistent and most experienced care coordination in the market.

So, look for my upcoming posts featuring our team. An experienced team that holds over 25 specialty certifications and accreditations. A kind team that supports clients as well as each other. A team that I treasure.

 

–Mindy