Deanna Ford

Deanna Finds Joy in Helping Her Fellow Team Members

Nov 18 2021

The mission of our ministry is to provide the compassion of Jesus through improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve. While many efforts of our mission teams focus on the communities outside the walls of our facilities, one is a little closer to home.

Deanna Ford, director of mission and values for Mercy Health – Youngstown, works to develop strategies that support our frontline staff, nurses, doctors and other clinical staff. While the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched our team members thin in caring for our patients, Deanna continues an ongoing effort to care for their minds, bodies and spirits.

Current efforts for Deanna’s team include working on ways to support our caregivers collaboratively with nursing, spiritual care, volunteer services and well-being partners to promote self-care and resources for support as an outlet for the high-stress environments in which they work.

While much of what she does is focused on helping those who serve our patients directly, Deanna says that the most joyful part of her job is seeing those team members truly enjoying their work. Something as simple as a smile between coworkers is gratifying.

“When I see our night shift staff leaving our building smiling, talking with others and ‘hanging in there,’ it gives me joy!” she says.

Those happy, shared experiences between our team members are significant to Deanna, considering what they’ve gone through as frontline health care workers during a pandemic. Each person is part of the healing provided to our patients, she says, and each person rose to the challenge before them.

However, she adds, it’s more important than ever to take care of ourselves.

“We don’t have to be alone in this,” Deanna says. “We, like our patients, have holistic needs as well. I’d like to continue to provide support and leadership where I can in the idea that we all think of ourselves as beloved children of God, and we are deserving of all things good, even if it’s just a few extra breaths a day, a few moments of reflection and, of course, connection to those things in our lives that sustain us.”

Learn more about our mission at Mercy Health as well as our vision and values.

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