“See Me Now” program connects emergency room providers with former patients

DERRY TOWNSHIP, Dauphin County, Pa. -- On Tuesday night, Penn State Hershey Medical Center hosted an opportunity for emergency room staff to reconnect with some of their former patients.

It's part of an effort called "See Me Now," which are events allowing families to express gratitude and find closure while giving healthcare providers the chance to see the meaning of their work in a positive setting.

Linda Gangai, program manager for quality improvement within the Department of Emergency Medicine, said this is the third "See Me Now" event they've hosted.

Gangai said they've started the program in an effort to help emergency room providers with emotional burnout.

The focus Tuesday night was on pediatric patients.

Three of April Doster's nine children, JT, Hailey, and Savannah, have been through a lot.

In December 2016, they were brought to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where Doster is a nurse in the emergency room, by State Police.

They were taken from an abusive home and were in "horrific" condition, according to Doster, who nursed them when they arrived at the emergency room.

Eventually, when the hospital could not find a foster family to take the children in, Doster said she texted her husband, Rubin, asking if she could "bring friends home for Christmas?"

Last October, Amber and Rubin officially adopted the children.

“It’s so amazing to see that after they’ve been through so much harm, that they’re such amazing kids," said Doster.

Tina Fleischer's daughter, Isabella, suffered a head injury during an accident at home, leaving her with a skull fracture and a brain bleed.

Three years later, in the presence of her emergency room providers, Isabella is fully recovered.

“Being intubated, being all strapped up and wired up in bed and now we see a three-year-old that’s running around with pipe cleaner glasses so what an amazing opportunity for them to have this experience to see they’re not injured anymore,” said Fleischer.

Dr. Kate Crowell, a pediatrician at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, said having the opportunity to see former patients, such as Isabella, is special because on most occasions, they do not know the outcomes for their patients.

“It can be hard and you take some of that home with you and I think getting an opportunity to see the ultimate outcome of her crawling under the table and doing everything a three-year-old should be doing really gives you hope and meaning our of the work we do on a daily basis," said Dr. Crowell.

Gangai said they're seeking any patients who want to reconnect with their emergency room providers as they look to continue the "See Me Now" program.

Anyone interested can call (717) 531-0003, extension 287210 or email lgangai@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

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