Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 1 at the Planetree Conference

The Planetree Model

Since its founding as a nonprofit organization, Planetree has pioneered methods for personalizing, humanizing and demystifying the healthcare experience for patients and their families.

The Planetree model of care is a patient-centered, holistic approach to healthcare, promoting mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical healing. It empowers patients and families through the exchange of information and encourages healing partnerships with caregivers. It seeks to maximize positive healthcare outcomes by integrating optimal medical therapies and incorporating art and nature into the healing environment.

Planetree continues to innovate, broadening our collective understanding of the concept of healing, and continuing our network’s expansion so that a growing number of patients and caregivers can experience the dignity, compassion, and humanity that are hallmarks of the Planetree philosophy.

I am in Baltimore, attending 2009 Planetree Conference on behalf of Fauquier Health. It's three days of smiles, sincerity and good feelings. So many great folks here, striving to improve their health facilities under the patient-centered care banner.

But the food is small. Tiny bran muffins for breakfast, tiny Portobello sandwiches and really tiny crab cakes for the dinner buffet. Tasty but miniature. And no dessert!

Planetree folks want everyone to be healthy and happy, so I guess they are watching out for our waistlines.

Sigh… What happened to the good old days, when a business conference meant gravy with everything and chocolate mousse for dessert?

I’ve never been to a Planetree conference before and it feels different than every other conference I’ve ever been to. As a former journalist, I’ve attended many newspaper conferences, where the competition between people was palpable. Attendees guarded their best ideas and talked a lot about their accomplishments. The jargon they used was straight out of journalism textbooks, and I always felt like a little fish in a big pool -- of piranahs.

The Planetree conference is more about sharing good ideas than about hoarding them, more about cooperation than competition. The attendees are really smart and accomplished, but they treat you like you are smart and accomplished, too. It’s a “we’re all in this together” mentality.

The “let’s make the world a better place” emphasis is very liberating. No one is here to prove they are better or more important than anyone else, so it frees me up to just soak in all the good information and enjoy the seminars.

It hasn’t all been smiles, of course. I attended a great talk on emergency preparedness, with an emphasis on the H1N1 crisis. We’re all hoping the pandemic won’t reach its potential, but we all need to be vigilant in preparing for that potential.

A little scary.

I could have used some chocolate mousse to take the edge off, but had to settle for a keynote speech from Naomi Judd, who talked in her self-deprecating hillbilly way about her recovery from hepatitis C. Did you know she used to work as a nurse?

Her talk was uplifting, but not very filling.

Good thing I have cookies in my hotel room. Planetree is also about comfort, right? And for me, cookies are comfortable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Robin, I enjoyed reading your comments from the conference, you brought out some chuckles on my behalf. Reminded me about when I would attend offsite meetings/training/conferences, you are correct, the food is important part of the whole thing. Lets here it for pies, any kind as long as they are round. George from the Concierge Staff