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2016 Nominees Section


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Joyce Brown

 
Joyce Brown

Position: Caremore Touch Lead Nurse Practitioner

Organization: Caremore Health Plan

 

What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Joyce Brown is our Touch Nurse Practitioner who is the epitome for caring our senior members who resides in long term care facility throughout Southern California for many decades. She is a great leader, a dedicated team member, and a compassionate care providers for Caremore Health Plan.


Why should this person be nominated
As a lead person for her team, Joyce oversees other teammates and sets an example for everyone on delivering holistic care for elders who need a special touch. Not only does she bring joy and comfort to them, she also keep them in high spirits. She makes sure that every senior person being seen is respected in regards to their wishes and desires - by informed consent and sharing the care goals with the family and the team. As a physician, I often encounter Joyce visiting our elderly patients and meeting with family in late hours so she can accommodate their needs.

Here is just one specific story I can recall:

A senior patient of CareMore Touch who lives in an assisted living facility had fallen during the night - let's call her Sandy. Joyce was on call for the weekend and was called due to Sandy's uncontrolled pain. This wasn't one of Joyce's regular patients, and Joyce could have just managed this over the phone, but she came in to the facility to examined and assessed Sandy's condition right away. After reviewing the results of an X-ray which was done the night before and reported as normal, she believed the pain was more consistent with an acute pelvic fracture. She contacted Sandy's sons to discuss treatment options. For them, the most important thing was focusing on pain alleviation without further delay, i.e. sending the patient to the Emergency Room or hospital. Joyce decided to transfer Sandy to a skilled nursing unit next to this facility for closer monitoring and better pain management. She also repeated a pelvic x-ray, which showed 2 fractures to the pelvis. Joyce updated and signed out with the Nurse Practitioner who was assigned to this patient so the care is not disrupted.

Nonetheless, with a good heart and caring attributes of Joyce, she stopped by and checked on this patient on late Monday evening, where I greeted her during my routine nursing home visit. I saw Joyce having a conference with patient's family who is with her nearly all the time. She continued to follow this patient, along with the assigned NP for that facility, and she had multiple long discussions with the sons about end of life care and what would be best for the patient since she could not walk anymore due to the pelvic bone fractures. This attention to the wishes of Sandy and her sons meant the patient's wish were honored. Ultimately, arrangement were made for this patient to go home with a caregiver and hospice care.

One of the nurses Joyce works with told me this:

One of our Touch members that Joyce Brown took care of passed away on Feb 28. The patient's daughter called me today to acknowledge the wonderful care that Joyce provided. She made it quite clear to me that she does not trust any health care providers. But, Joyce's "mannerism and knowledge" brought confidence to this patient's family that Joyce was only looking out for what is best for their mother. I asked her how she was doing since her mother recently passed. She replied, "Surprisingly, I'm ok". She went on to say that it's because of Joyce preparing the family and guiding them through the grieving process.
When I asked Joyce of this case she told me this is everyday work for her and it is her passion to care for our senior patients. She remarks "This is a typical case, really-- I like to think any one of our TOUCH NPs would go the extra mile to make sure the patient and family had the best experience possible in a bad situation."

And one last note - I especially admire Joyce for her heartfelt commitment to her senior patients even when she was out on sick leave due to her battle with cancer. She fought hard to come back to work during treatment for her cancer, and even during her sick leave, Joyce checked in with her team and kept in touch with our senior members regarding their health conditions. She is also so kind to her colleagues, and her motivating and cheerful attitude is so contagious. We all recognize Joyce as an exemplary health care professional for CareMore Health Plan. Our community and our seniors are so fortunate to have Joyce Brown's service.