This is Whole Health: Jessica Rangel
“Many years ago, I did a home visit on an older adult whom I had cared for numerous times in the emergency department. What I knew was that she suffered from a complicated medical situation and was not receiving optimal care with periodic emergency department visits. She always came by ambulance, never had anyone with her and always asked me for a sandwich because she was very hungry. She was always so joyful and so very grateful to see familiar faces every time she came.
“I was stunned when I saw her living conditions: a tiny, single-room home with only one light. She slept on a cot with one blanket. She told me she was very proud of her ability to take care of herself but was embarrassed that she couldn’t get her medications filled or buy food as had been the case for many years. She shared that she missed her friends at church the most. Why? She had painful swelling and sores on her legs that prevented her from walking very far. She took pride in living close to her grocery store and church where she once was able to walk. She was progressively losing weight and frankly wouldn’t survive if her current situation stayed the same.
“After my visit, she received coordinated care to meet her most basic needs: transportation, food and companionship. In coordination with her physician, she was able to restart her medical visits. I never saw her in the emergency department again: a good thing except that we missed her!
“Meeting her needs encompassed most of the domains of Whole Person, Whole Health. Transportation to church met her community and spiritual needs. Access to food and medication met her physical needs and provided an avenue for self-care. Helping her with her independence was what mattered most to her. Through the Whole Health lens, mission accomplished!”
Jessica Maack Rangel, MS, RN, FNAP
Executive Vice President of Health Systems
What areas of whole health are part of this story?
- Physical Health
- Environmental Health
- Spiritual Health
- Financial Health
To learn more about HSC’s Whole Health Initiative, go to unthsc.edu/wholehealth. If you have an example of how you have implemented one or more whole health areas and want to be featured in the “This is Whole Health” series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.