Project Renewal: Matters of the Heart

On February 8, Faith Presbyterian Hospice welcomed guest speaker Dr. Carla Cheatham, to discuss “Matters of the Heart,” as part of the Project Renewal initiative, a year-round program focused on recharging and invigorating teammates, generously funded by donors to the Forefront Living Foundation.

Dr. Cheatham delved into the topic of self-care in relation to the betterment of ourselves and those we serve. As the healthcare industry faces rising challenges including medical errors and service failures due to burnout, it’s especially important for those working in healthcare to prioritize their own well-being. The session shed light on the lingering trauma and grief stemming from the pandemic and addressed significant challenges posed by the great resignation in nursing and the field of healthcare, leading to staffing shortages that further increase stress levels.

Pertaining to these challenges, Dr. Cheatham highlighted the importance of establishing boundaries and seeking balance in both personal and professional lives. Session participants were encouraged to carve out time for self-care, acknowledging common barriers such as limited time, energy and financial resources. Strategies to prevent burn out include practicing gratitude, focusing on what can be changed and cultivating social support networks. Dr. Cheatham encouraged teammates to write down three things daily that made them feel proud and to describe how their actions directly contributed to these unique moments. She also shared practical coping tips such as grounding and breathing techniques to assist in navigating difficulties. Prioritizing personal well-being isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity that strengthens individual health and also elevates the standard of care we provide to our patients and those we serve.

Carol Smith, Relationship Manager for Forefront Living Foundation, shared the following about Project Renewal, “The Forefront Living Foundation deeply appreciates the ongoing support of our generous donors, who passionately advocate for our mission. Among these remarkable supporters, one individual stands out for his role in establishing Project Renewal, an initiative designed to encourage Faith Teammates. I know that everyone who attended the sessions by Dr. Cheatham left with renewed purpose, refreshed spirits and a revitalized commitment to self-care.”

About the Speaker:
Dr. Carla Cheatham began her career in psychosocial services with an MA in Psychology, certification in trauma therapy, PhD in Health and Kinesiology and MDiv before working for more than 10 years as an interfaith healthcare chaplain and bereavement coordinator. Carla is a national keynote speaker and consultant focusing on emotionally intelligent and resilient professionals and organizations, member of NHPCO’s Trauma-Informed End of Life Care Work Group, former Chair of NHPCOs Ethics Advisory Council and Assistant Professor for University of Maryland’s MS in Palliative Care.