Recognizing Safe Ears—Safe Hearts

Everyone appreciates recognition. In its simplest form, it may be words like, “I appreciate you” or “Thank you for what you do.” For donors to your organization it is typically a written letter sent in the mail to their home, a personal note of thanks to recognize the financial sacrifice made to keep the clinic in operation, or addressing a special need. As the leader of an organization you are filled with gratitude for those who volunteer to serve the community in ways most are unaware of. You see dedication that exceeds the expectations of volunteers who tirelessly give hours of time in exchange for personal satisfaction. One group of people who goes unrecognized are those who quietly walk with a friend thru an unexpected pregnancy.

Those friends or acquaintances who are zeroed in on as the “safe ears/safe heart” by the young woman who finds herself in a struggle related to pregnancy. That person who receives an unexpected call and hears the words, “I don’t know who else I should tell, but I thought of you. I think I’m pregnant.” The safe ears/safe heart who hears the words, “I don’t know what to do. They found something on the ultrasound that’s wrong with the baby. They are telling me I should have an abortion.” The safe ears/safe heart person who is known to be a listener. We all know these people. We’ve all met these people. We’ve all shared time with these people. They listen and guide these young women, many times totally unrecognized. They may be considered “angels among us.”

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

What can you do as an organization to honor these special people? How could you reach them in a special way? What extra step could your team take to acknowledge this special group of quiet support people? How can the safe ears/safe hearts be recognized? I have a few suggestions that could change the lives of these special people. I’d suggest considering the following ways to reach out.

  1. Have the advocate make note of the fact that this patient was accompanied by a Safe Ears/Safe Heart (SESH) person. As the patient goes to the next step, train advocates how to take a moment to thank the SESH.
  2. Have the medical personnel learn the messaging to recognize the SESH person as they guide them back to the reception area after the scanning time, maybe while the patient is filling out the Satisfaction Survey.
  3. Have the receptionist learn to tune into those SESH people and when they return to the reception area, they have a special SESH envelope for them to be opened later. This could be a standard note card preprinted and ready to hand out.
These are a few suggestions that you and your team can build from. It’s a start to incorporating the recognition of a new group. It is an opportunity to be culture changers in your community.
Connie Ambrecht
Founder & CEO
Sparrow Solutions Group


Stay updated on information that could impact you in your local PMC

Subscribe to the PMC Advisor Newsletter