Wendy’s Empathy Saves a Patient’s Life

Jan 9 2023

Wendy Howell, RMA, (pictured above, left) has worked at Mercy Health — Dry Ridge Family Medicine for more than 20 years.

One day Karen Biedenbach, Wendy’s manager, (pictured above, right) overheard a patient give Wendy one of the best compliments that Karen had heard in a long time.

“Wendy spoke to the patient several months ago,” Karen explains. “The patient mentioned that she was living in her car with her kids during in the winter months. The patient was also pregnant, had nowhere to turn and stated that she was at the lowest point ever in her life. Wendy knew someone at the Community Action Agency, and the person had told Wendy to call them if she ever had a patient in need of services. Wendy called the agency right away and got this patient connected with them.”

Once Wendy reached out to the Community Action Agency, the patient was immediately given a place to stay, her children were taken care of and she was connected to several free services that have helped her turn her life around.

“The patient was in today with her beautiful 4-month-old baby and said things are so good right now,” Karen adds. “She credits Wendy with ‘saving her life.’ And anyone who knows Wendy would not be surprised by this, as this is Wendy each and every day.”

When asked how she felt about saving this patient’s life with just one phone call, Wendy shares, “at the time, I knew she was in a serious situation because she was living in a car with her children, she was pregnant and it was getting cold outside. However, I never would have thought that the call I made that day would have impacted her life so much. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about it now. I remember worrying about them so much but not knowing what the outcome was going to be.”

Wendy believes that God put her where she belonged that day to save this patient from homelessness.

“That was not my normal job duty but, I jumped in and helped where I was needed and at that time,” Wendy says.

Karen continues to express how Wendy never fails to amaze her and is constantly going above and beyond for her patients. In fact, Karen shares an additional moment where Wendy went to great lengths to care for a patient.

“Not too long ago, Wendy spoke to an elderly patient who was unable to get out of the house due to illness but needed a few things from the pharmacy. The patient had no family, and no support system, so Wendy ordered cough drops, Tylenol and Kleenex from Walgreens and had them delivered to the patient. She definitely thinks outside the box when it comes to good patient care.”

Wendy shares a piece of advice to those who may find themselves in similar situations.

“Don’t forget to have empathy for others,” she says. “Just imagine yourself in that person’s shoes. Your empathy could change someone’s life!”

Wendy recently received a Core Culture Award in the Called to Shine program, our ministry’s digital recognition program which allows employees to recognize anyone across the ministry at any time, with personalized messages. Our leaders can allocate points to recognitions they send, and employees can redeem these points for merchandise, experiences and much more.

Check out other stories about our amazing team members.

Also, learn about the primary care services we offer at Mercy Health.

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