Northside Hospital Cherokee Patient Relations Representative Kyle Porter was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon on Nov. 2 in Atlanta. Porter, who was one of only five health care workers statewide to receive the award, was recognized for her innovative efforts in bringing a family together for a funeral.
In her role as the patient relations representative, Porter works to ensure patients have everything they need to help them recover and to ensure their stay in the hospital is as pleasant as possible. She is a friend to patients and community members alike, keeping in touch with former patients and nurturing them for generations.
One example of Porter’s generosity is seen in her care of a patient in the intensive care unit (ICU). The patient was going through a difficult recovery process and was simultaneously dealing with the grief of the recent death of a parent. While recovering, the patient also unexpectedly lost a brother. His grief worsened his condition and he became frustrated and anxious at the thought of not being able to see his brother put to rest.
Because the patient was in such fragile health, he could not leave the hospital. Porter explored several means of transporting him to the funeral, from having him ride in an ambulance to having the funeral procession with immediate family come to the hospital. Eventually, Porter came up with the idea to use modern technology to bring the funeral to the patient. She obtained permission for the first-time use of Skype by the hospital and found a family member who agreed to hold up a cell phone during the funeral. She also worked with the hospital chaplain to secure the chapel so her patient could “attend” the funeral in a private and peaceful space. Since then, the hospital has used Skype multiple times to allow patients to be part of family milestones while hospitalized.
“Kyle Porter’s innovative ideas and ability to think outside the box have taken patient care to another level,” said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers. “She has a remarkable ability to connect with her patients and we are pleased to recognize her outstanding efforts with this award.”
Founded in 1929, GHA serves more than 170 hospitals in Georgia and promotes the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all Georgia’s citizens. The mission of GHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities by serving as the leading advocate for all Georgia hospitals and health care systems. GHA represents its members before the General Assembly and Congress, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies, and is an allied member of the American Hospital Association. For more information, please call 770-249-4500 or visit gha.org.