Renee Kinder

Mother’s Day and the week leading up to it, I always get plenty of joyful wishes … from co-workers and college friends, via creative and colorful emojis, from cafeteria and grounds crew members at the kids’ school … you name it, I hear it.

Always with an additional inflection in their voice.

And a VERY happy Mother’s Day to you.

I struggle with this. One kid or 10, motherhood deserves celebration.

I have five.

Kids that is. And three dogs, and four chicks, and one husband with the patience of Job. All my kids respond differently to Mother’s Day celebrations.

Isaac celebrates for the week and will gladly and openly tell you how much joy he has leading up to the day. However, after some morning cuddles, he goes back to his typical business.

Lawson will give me a “Happy Mother’s Day” under his breath during breakfast with a nervous/sly smile on his face.

Emmy will insist it must be Emmy and Mommy Day and that she also deserves to be celebrated, because she is “Mommy’s best friend.”

Joseph will give me hugs galore and tell me with his big blue eyes how much love he has in is heart for Mommy.

Kathryn, however, is the most purposeful, and she always plans to make the day extra special. She relishes in bringing joy to others.

This year, she came to me midday with a very special gift, one that she had planned for all year. Kathryn, you see, had saved her “beans” all year long from school tasks to purchase a gift.

Beans are given for helping others, being kind, recycling, and taking initiative for projects.

500 beans later, Mommy now has a beautiful and colorful bag and Kathryn’s bean bank is empty.

Naturally, I cried and thanked her.

And naturally, you are likely asking yourself, “Renee, where are you going with this?”

I liken Kathryn’s approach to the one that is often needed in how we educate and train our teams on appropriate clinical approaches. And one that I myself have recently learned.

Education and training that is occurring across the industry presently is challenging our therapists to practice at the top of their license and to follow evidence based protocols requires thoughtful and purposeful actions.

As an example, this week I had the great pleasure of spending time with members of my Clinical team, all our Operations team and Senior Management to work thru two key goals: 1) Having an additional 40 individuals obtaining the knowledge base to become certified as RAC-CT for knowledge and expertise in MDS, and 2) Teaching, training and receiving feedback on Clinical Pathways.

The development of materials for one week of training has spanned two quarters of digging in the research, collaborating across care teams, and branding of materials. As such, it has been difficult to wait patiently and tap into my eternal Kathryn to hold on sharing and distribution of content.

My inner Isaac has been spreading the excitement; my inner Lawson has been slightly nervous to share; the Emmy in me says, “Hey, this has been a team effort!” And the inner Joseph just wants everyone to feel engaged.

The inner Kathryn grit, however, can be the hardest to tap into, especially when it requires patience and waiting.

The result? The successful completion of a long-term, targeted, focused plan is that the payoff is exponential.

And after your bean bank is filled to the max, and emptied strategically, you can start fresh to focus on the next batch.

Renee Kinder, MS, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT, is Vice President of Clinical Services for Encore Rehabilitation and is the Silver Award winner in the 2018 American Society of Business Publishing Editors competition for the Upper Midwest Region in the Service/How To Blogs category. Additionally, she serves as Gerontology Professional Development Manager for the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA) gerontology special interest group, is a member of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine community faculty, and is an advisor to the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC).