Taking Care of our Own: Sabrina’s Story

By Rhonda Pfaffly, Referral Coordinator for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group.

It seems like the news and social media are focused on sensational, negative things most of the time. It’s draining. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear some good news for a change? Well, I’ve got a story for you. Here at Lee’s Summit Physicians Group, we’re family… not a collection of employee numbers or bodies filling chairs. I’ve gotten to watch this story play out over the past few months.

Sabrina

SabrinaSabrina works at the front desk at our Rain Tree office. She’s been with LSPG for several years, working full time and going to school to be a radiologist technician.

Unfortunately, a couple of months ago, she was involved in a grease fire and sustained 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her face, arms, legs, chest, abdomen and back. She was in the Research Burn Unit for the past several months.

Since the day of her accident, she’s gone through several surgeries and skin grafts. And last week, she finally got to come home. She still has a long road ahead of her involving physical therapy and more surgeries. In spite of that, she has a great spirit and keeps us posted on her recovery through Facebook and emails.

Taking Care of our Own

The minute we heard about Sabrina’s accident, the front desk employees didn’t bat an eye. They started figuring out how they were going to cover her shifts. Rachel in our billing office made ribbons for us to wear to show we support her. They were a great reminder around the office. Purple is Sabrina’s favorite color, so we made purple bracelets inscribed with her favorite saying, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. We sold them for $2 each and raised $700 to help with Sabrina’s expenses.

We also held Sabrina Spirit Week by dressing up every day:

  • Monday – Purple Monday
  • Tuesday – Tie Dye Tuesday
  • Wednesday – Wacky Wednesday (Mismatched clothing day.)
  • Thursday – Twinning Thursday (Find a coworker and be their twin… or triplet… or quadruplet!)
  • Friday – Royals day

Supporting SabrinaWe donated $1 each day to be able to participate. All told, we raised $1,620 for Sabrina to help with her expenses.

She continues to amaze us with her “Don’t Worry Be Happy” attitude and we know she will pull through this. Her boyfriend, Toby, says, “She’s a warrior!!!”

We will continue to be here for Sabrina and her family while she is recovering. That’s why I couldn’t be more proud of our team. I get to spend my days with my second family here at LSPG. I’ve experienced this support personally when I lost my husband in January. My friends and coworkers took care of me and continue to show their support. I hope you never have to face this situation, but it really helps to know people are in your corner and you can count on them to understand if something terrible happens.

The moral of this story is… I hope you work in a place where you’re treated like family. Not just the easy stuff… but the times when it really matters and you need to show up!

Provider Spotlight: Valerie Monroy

Valerie Monroy, C-P.N.P.One of the things we plan to share with you every month is a provider or employee spotlight. This month, we asked provider Valerie Monroy some questions that hopefully give you a little more insight into what makes Valerie tick.

What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?

Becoming a mother has been an amazing experience. My husband and I welcomed Anna into our family three years ago, and she has made me a better person and a better provider. Being a parent has been challenging, humbling and the most rewarding experience thus far. We welcomed our second child, a son, a year ago. Since becoming a parent, I am able to better understand parent’s concerns about my patients and my own experiences provide me with better understanding outside the medical realm.

What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?

Indoor; I love to cook and try new things in the kitchen. Outdoor; I love to travel and learn new cultures.

I guess I was bitten by the travel bug early in life. During college I was fortunate enough to study abroad for a semester in Sevilla, Spain. While there, I took the opportunity to visit neighboring countries. I have traveled to most of the continents but one of my favorite trips was to South America to meet my husband’s family. We hope to return and take our whole family soon. In the meantime, we practice Spanish at home and are raising our children bilingual so they will be familiar with this part of their heritage and be able to communicate with all of their family members.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I would have my own food truck! That way I can travel and cook.

How do you define success?

Success for me starts at home. No professional or personal achievements can compensate for a lack of meaningful relationships in my life. If I am able to succeed as a wife and mother the rest seems to fall into place.

What is your favorite thing about working at Lee’s Summit Physicians Group?

Lee’s Summit Physicians Group is very family oriented. We provide great care and I am always proud to tell people about where I work.

What drew you to LSPG originally? And how has LSPG changed since?

LSPG has an outstanding reputation in the community. As a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse at Children’s Mercy for over 6 years, I always knew I wanted to continue my career in a clinic that was well regarded and known for the good care provided to their patients. That is how I found LSPG. Many things have changed and will change in the future, but I believe our reputation will remain the same; a welcoming office that provides outstanding care to all.

What is your role at LSPG. What does that really mean you do on a daily basis?

As a Nurse Practitioner I see patients in the urgent care or in clinic during scheduled appointments. One of my favorite things about this job is being able to see my patients grow and watching families grow over the years. It is always exciting to see the newest member of the family.

What is one thing that the rest of the staff at LSPG doesn’t know about you?

I played the saxophone for many years and I plan to join a jazz band when I retire. (Well, only the first part is true!)

The Magic of Disney, Mickey and the Carousel of Progress

Jennifer M. Sauer, M.D.By Jennifer M. Sauer, M.D.

Where is Your Happy Place?

If anyone were to ask me “Where is your happy place?” my immediate answer is Disney World, The Happiest Place on Earth.

My obsession with anything Mickey Mouse began in 1989 when my family was able to take our first planned vacation. I happened to turn 16 while we were there, but the trip was NOT for my 16th birthday. It just happened to occur while we were there since my birthday is around spring break.

My mom has had Multiple Sclerosis for as long as I can remember. Anyone can tell you that living with, or caring for someone with a chronic illness isn’t easy. But for those four days in Disney World, my Mom wasn’t sick. Disney took care of everything. Mickey mouse shaped ice cream bars, a birthday cake with my name on it, fixing the door in our hotel room and then leaving a porcelain Mickey as a gift for the inconvenience. I just remember a sense of calm and pure joy!

Lees Summit Physicians Group: Disney Lees Summit Physicians Group: Disney

 

Some of my most precious memories have happened at Disney World.

Lees Summit Physicians Group: DisneyI’m blessed with a husband that takes all of my Disney passion and embraces it. We went to Disney World for our honeymoon, and on the first night we had a nice table overlooking the water. But as soon as Mickey came in the dining room, I was jumping up and waving him down. The waiter had to come reassure me that Mickey would be over in a minute.

I’ve been able to watch my kids light up when seeing the characters and run to hug them as young children. And then taking pictures in the same places many years later, but no longer being held on my hip. Within Disney World, they’ve watched many firework shows and parades, have overcome their fear of roller coasters, and continue to eat Mickey shaped food items and wear Mickey ears.

A recent visit to Magic Kingdom was like getting a history lesson.

Carousel of Progress is my all-time favorite attraction due to its sentimental/nostalgia value to me. Walt was intimately involved in this exhibit, and it is the only ride in Disney World that he actually rode. The exhibit was originally developed for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair,. It was originally in Disneyland and then moved to Disney World in 1975. (Walt died approximately five years before Walt Disney World opened.)

While riding the Carousel of Progress, the song “It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” plays between the scenes. Our tour guide said if you change the word “Man” in the lyrics to Walt, it has a new meaning:

Man (Walt) has a dream and that’s the start.
He follows his dream with mind and heart.
And when it becomes a reality,
It’s a dream come true for you and me.

Walt Disney was a visionary and a dreamer. He believed “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I was inspired to be able to follow my dream of becoming a doctor. Naturally, I needed to be a pediatrician so that I never had to grow up and can still wear Mickey Mouse shoes to work.