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Message from Leadership: Sheri Feeney's Promise Story

Published July 7, 2014

I am so thankful to be a caregiver at Providence. I am currently enjoying my 18th year in finance, and throughout that time, I have been fortunate to support many different Providence Health and Services ministries. During my years at our system office, supporting work across the health system, through my time with Providence Senior and Community Services, working with ministries across the healthcare continuum, and in my more recent years with the Northwest Washington Region, I have learned many lessons. I don’t believe any lesson has impacted me more than the reality of our mission statement: “As people of Providence, we reveal God’s love for all, especially the poor and vulnerable, through our compassionate service.”

Early in my career, I was fortunate to work alongside many Sisters of Providence. My early employee orientation was provided by two of our Sisters, one of whom was Sister Susanne Hartung. In this orientation, and in many follow-up conversations, Sister Susanne counseled me to think about the poor and vulnerable we serve in very broad terms— far beyond financial circumstances. She advised that many people we encounter in healthcare are poor and that many patients and families come to us with great vulnerability.  She admonished me to remember poverty is not purely a financial circumstance, and vulnerability is a human suffering with broad impact in our communities. She reminded me that although my career will often involve completion of economic analysis or an equation using math skills, the more important work is to recognize whom it is we serve in healthcare. Patients receiving healthcare services may lack family support, spiritual belief, emotional well-being, and confidence in their ability to navigate complex situations. Families and even our co-workers can feel very vulnerable in their role of providing our patients care and support. It is with this recognition of the poor and vulnerable that we can better reach out with a helping hand to our patients, families and visitors, as well as to other Providence caregivers.

We all know about answering the call to "know me, care for me, and ease my way." As I work with caregivers at Providence Medical Group and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, I witness compassionate service each day. I am incredibly proud to work alongside each person of Providence I encounter, and I am grateful for the ministries of Providence. Remembering our health system’s focus on the poor and the vulnerable in this much broader sense allows me to connect my own role to our mission; and in this connection, my soul is fed and my spirit nurtured.