Jay, who has lived in the Waukesha area for over 20 years, is an active volunteer who has served on numerous local boards and committees. He's married to Colleen with three kids having gone through the Waukesha schools. He is the VP of a local distribution company.
Most cancer survivors contend with lingering issues. In my case, the most noticeable include lack of saliva as well as lymphedema - both a direct result of my radiation treatment. The lymphedema is readily managed via a 15 minute nightly routine. The saliva glands, which were directly in the field of radiation, stopped working normally in the very first week of treatment with the doctor's caveat "Well, the saliva will come back...somewhat...". Assuredly - he over-promised.
Froedtert suggested a relatively new acupuncture program conducted in their Pain and Rehab Clinic. This program targets stimulation of the saliva glands via acupuncture and electrical stimulation. My first year is complete and, while initially skeptical, I am now a proponent of the program with noticeable improvement.
Each session begins with a rotating cast of "Fellows" and resident doctors doing an initial assessment of my progress. There is time for brief conversation, and their reasons for gaining experience in the Pain & Rehab Center vary. They are all brilliant, idealistic, and committed to patient care. One man's story stands out...
In conversation, we talked about his background which brought him to a Medical College/Froedtert residency. He explained he was from a rural area of Puerto Rico, and how fortunate he was to have had the opportunities in his life resulting in his now being at Froedtert. I asked where he hoped to be working post-Froedtert. His answer: "Knowing the sacrifices my family made for me, I promised my father I would return as a doctor and serve the people of Puerto Rico in the area where I grew up". While absorbing this, my next question asked if he was planning on specializing in one specialty area. He quietly smiled and replied "My area is very rural and poor, and I will probably be the only doctor for many miles. I need to know about everything, and be able to treat as much as I can..."
Pondering a complete different life a world away from my experiences, my last question went something like "With everything you have seen Stateside, are you tempted to stay here?" He bemusedly smiled and answered "I made a promise to my family, my people need me, and I will keep that promise..."
His words continue to penetrate my subconsciousness many months later. This young man will positively impact and help hundreds of his future patients/neighbors. I honestly doubt he will ever put insurance coverages and reimbursements ahead of patient care.
He is everything that's "right" with Health care, He also serves as an incredible example of what's "right" with family values....
His story is just one more reason for me to say - "Thank you Froedtert Hospital!"