There is no doubt that Sinai has a heart. It’s strong pulse is felt by anyone who enters through the door. Just as the human heart is made up of cells, Sinai’s heart is made up of it’s dedicated employees. Kindra Nelson made up a large portion of that vigorous heart. Hers, so in tuned with all the rest of patients in need, and their community. She couldn’t help her self, but to get involved in Sinai’s improvement projects. Where and when Sinai was struggling Kindra was there to figure it out. It is through these improvement projects scattered across the time line how I got to know Kindra.
When I was working to improve oral care in the ICU’s, and needed to present it to the Shared Governance Committee, there was no surprise that Kindra’s face was one of the few in the audience. Her presence so big. She was engaged, listening with so much attention; such involvement. She would ask questions where things needed clarifications, then with stern agreement back me up in a way that left no doubt this is what we will do from now on. For me and Kindra it was simple: identify the need, develop a plan, and carry it out. If it benefits the patients, it must be done no matter what. I only wish things would be as simple to the rest of the management teams.
When SICU, step down or other units all over the hospital needed staff Kindra was there to take care of patients. Again: identify the need, develop a plan, and carry it out. When I saw her face on our unit my own lit up with joy. I knew right then that my shift is going to be fine, because Kindra was there. She cared, and that was all that was needed. Her presence: strong, and confident. Her attitude direct, but never ignorant made everything she did so enticing; wanting others to join in on it, simply because she made it cool.
All through the years I would see Kindra in skills fairs, education events, Shared Governance Meetings, and at bedside. Each time we would see each other we would exchange a warm and welcoming look of: you’re still here! We were Sinai veterans. We were Sinai and Sinai was us.
It was two weeks ago when I heard Kindra’s calm, soothing, and a bit raspy voice for the last time. We were on a conference call for Shared Governance meeting. Not many people showed up that day, but it was ok since Kindra was there. I was frustrated with all the staffing issues that SICU was facing, and again Kindra was my audience, my rock, and my fire. This time a bit different though. Kindra still present and engaged, but this time with a smidge of frustration that I have never witnessed before. Perhaps disappointed that what is so obvious is not being seen. It was as if the rock is getting heavy and the flame of fire too massive to control. This time we identified the needs, and developed a plan, leaving all the rest of us at Sinai in charge of caring it out!
Kindra’s heart beat has never and will never stop for us. It is forever inwoven within Sinai and will forever continue to be felt by all those that come through the door. Her strength and her fire effervescent, and omnipresent within the walls of Sinai’s vessels now even more potent then ever; inspiring each and every one of us. Lets allow ourselves to feel Kindra’s strength and cary her fire, so that we can deliver compassionate care just as she did where diversity is desired, and unity prevails.