SWON Visits – Good Samaritan TriHealth
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Posted by: Melanie Blau McDonald
Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting with Jennifer Heffron, Dean of Libraries, Head of Library Services for TriHealth and Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science. The library supports nursing students, post-docs, fellows, researchers, faculty, and medical staff throughout the entire system. Beyond its Nursing College, TriHealth takes nursing very seriously as evidenced by their achievement of Magnet status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Magnet status recognizes excellence in nursing care by using a set of criteria which measures, “…strength and quality of the nursing care…” (ANCC) As Dean of Libraries, Jennifer supports this achievement and ongoing re-accreditation, in addition to her core responsibilities, by serving on committees, making recommendations, having staff serve on committees to expand reach, and implementing initiatives that make sense to the mission.
One such initiative is the College’s Common Read project. This year’s book is Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters at the End by Dr. Atul Gawande. All of the college courses incorporate this book into their curricula in some way. In it, Dr. Gawande draws on his experience with the death of his father from brain cancer as well as his experience as a surgeon in America. Jennifer shared that reading Dr. Gawande’s works, “…opened my eyes to the power of palliative care.” She described, “He writes about how American health care professionals handle the process of aging and death (i.e. not very well).” Clearly, the nursing program cares about going above the medical realities by having discussions and curricula related to caring for patients’ and families’ lives, beyond the bounds of illness and death.
Jennifer hopes to one day have a “One Healthcare System, One Book” program which she first read about on the MEDLIB-L listserv. I’m confident that she will make that happen.
Photo: Jennifer Heffron’s office corner featuring a dictionary saved from the trash and handmade items from Etsy.