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Be There For Them

As Rozanna Fink Blackford proves, sometimes Deaconess employees become family – both for each other and for their patients. Rozanna, a case manager at HealthSouth Deaconess Rehabilitation Hospital, remembers a patient from Jasper who was on her unit recovering from a severe brain injury after a traffic accident. The man, around 40 years old, had no wife or children, and none of his relatives lived in the area. After five or six weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, he was stable enough to leave the hospital – but because of his impaired judgment and unsteady walk, he couldn’t return to Jasper and live alone.

His brother-in-law made flight arrangements so the patient could travel to Michigan to be with his family, and Rozanna, who lives near the Evansville airport, agreed to meet the patient while he waited for his flight. For safety reasons, he couldn’t wait alone at the airport, so Rozanna cleared security with him and chatted with him for an hour and a half until he boarded his flight to Detroit.

She never saw the man again, but she heard he had recovered from his brain injury well enough to move back to Jasper and start working again. Still, in the spirit of compassion, she hasn’t forgotten him. “Since he didn’t have any family coming to visit,” she says, “we were pretty much his family.”