Read more on what members of Ochsner Health System are saying about IMESO:

The worth and contributions of a program is best assessed in narrative form by those who experience it. Below are testimonies gathered from a wide range of Ochsner employees about the contributions that IMESO makes in Ochsner Health System. The responses were based on one question: “What does IMESO’s presence and services add to my personal and professional workplace life and to Ochsner as a whole?”

A Senior Nurse (CNO) Leader said….

"IMESO has reminded me as a nurse leader that there is more to the patient than their diagnosis. I have a renewed sense of purpose in my role as a leader of nurses to ensure that the manner in which we provide care is reflective of the support and care the patient needs as a whole person greater than just their diagnosis.”

A Member of the Safety Team said…

“IMESO has awakened an introspective approach, encouraging us to remember why we were drawn to a career in healthcare. It seeks to help us find the spirit and purpose that we may have lost along the way. IMESO leads us to better self-care and fulfillment.

By teaching students and residents to consider virtues as they practice medicine, IMESO gives those learners an advantage at the start of their careers. They will likely be better equipped to find balance and contentment in their stressful lives.

For me, the fact that IMESO exists shows that we value the well-being of our people. I am a wholehearted supporter.”

An Attorney said...

“IMESO is a reminder that we are spiritual creatures learning to live in a physical world; that we can integrate our faith into our work and remain true to our deepest values.”

A Staff Nurse said……

“As a nurse it was so refreshing to see the virtues highlighted by IMESO and so intricately engrained into the Nurse Residency Program. My preparation and deliverance of one of the virtue lectures (transcendence) with fellow co-worker was very enriching. It allowed us to reflect back on our combined 28 years as NICU nurses and to share some more moving experiences with the residents. The active participation during the session and the positive feedback following confirms they were listening and recognized a need for an introspective glance into their individual purpose and mission as a nurse. I believe instilling the concept of “nursing with virtues” to newer nurses is very important. We as nurses need to fully understand the power and privilege we possess every day in making a positive difference in the lives of others.”

An Executive Vice President said….

“It has been our privilege to teach and to mentor future doctors. We have taught them the principles of biomedical and clinical sciences- we have given them the opportunity to pursue research – we have taught them the principles of safety - we have also attempted to strengthen their inherent values and virtues through something special called IMESO. Through IMESO virtue and value educational programs, they have been reminded of the human spirit – theirs and their patients’. Our goal with this medical school has been to take bright young people who want to make a difference, and to give them the chance to hone their humanism through exposure to different cultures and systems across the world and to graduate owning, cherishing, promulgating, and believing in in those values that will ensure their sustainability as empathetic and caring physicians. I challenge the medical students to maintain and reinforce their values and virtues, especially including humility, respect, honesty, compassion, and generosity.”

A Senior Administrative (CEO) Leader said….

“We have worked hard to infuse the thoughts and concepts of IMESO at our hospital. This has helped ensure that the board and leadership team are in alignment in supporting the programs and services that most support the patient and our employees.”

A Chief Operating Officer said…

“IMESO has taught me about spirituality and what it means to be a spiritual leader and how to develop as a leader by challenging myself to develop and grow spiritually. I would like to think that this has improved my effectiveness as a leader.”

A Project Manager said…

“Simply put, IMESO represents an untapped and key tool for Ochsner to meet its chief goals including patient loyalty, employee/leader/physician engagement, clinical outcomes and yes, financial metrics.”

A Physician Hospitalist said…

“IMESO helps to integrate quality, cost-effective, and patient-centered care into compassionate, holistic care through its presence and services. It has improved organizational culture by recognizing and enhancing spirituality in the workplace and helped employees to endure the challenging and rapid changes in healthcare delivery of our times. IMESO’s presence has improved my workplace life by acknowledging the importance of holistic care.”

A Senior Physician said…

“IMESO has prompted me to deepen my own sense of spirituality, and help to extend the same reflective and cognitive experience to my colleagues. It is THE reason I am here at Ochsner enjoying my daily practice. It is quite apparent to me that spirituality is not the same as religion; neither is it the same as an organization’s values. They complement each other. The photo of our 5 founders is a powerful example of ‘why’ we should hold fast as we continue to grow our corporate practice, and we must. IMESO emphasizes that developing our own spirituality; deliberately practicing the virtues of courage, justice, temperance, transcendence, and wisdom engages the world around us we serve our fellow man.”

An Internal Medicine Physician said…

“IMESO helps to remind me what is really important in helping to deliver healthcare to patients in need of it. It is not for RVU’s, production, surveys, department budgets or Epic. It is to serve those in need and to do that while keeping aligned with my spiritual master. It also reminds me that we, as humans, do not know what truly goes on inside of the human body and we never will. If we all strive to stay humble and serve the needs of others, the RVUs, etc. will all take care of themselves.”

A Senior Vice President of Services said…

“Finding meaningful purpose in one’s faith, work, and life is the challenge that gets us up in the morning.”

An Operations Vice President said…

“IMESO has refocused us on the need to take care of not only the physical ailments of our patients but also the healing of mind and spirit. IMESO also does a great job keeping us focused on the minds and spirits of our caregivers who serve the needs of the Gulf Coast.”

A Social Worker said…

“Spirituality in healthcare is a filter through which patients—in their respective personal and unique ways—find physical and emotional well-being. It gives patients a sense of purpose in life and transcends their physical state, especially during times of illness and healing. IMESO supports the development of spirituality in the healthcare workplace.”

An Attorney said…

“Spirituality involves striving to ‘know oneself’ and to recognize the serene dignity and the immense responsibility of bearing within a divine spark. Bringing this knowledge into the healthcare environment as ‘workplace spirituality’ cultivates peace, compassion, and understanding toward fellow employees and patients, and provides a platform for employees to rise above the inevitable workplace challenge.”

A Nursing Administrator said…

“Healthcare is complicated and the science is massaged by the art of caring. IMESO’s presence at Ochsner allows for colleagues to navigate the challenges that arise as they connect their personal mission to Ochsner's goals. I have personally enjoyed the connections that IMESO offers as the function of the institute truly begins by connecting those who are passionate about improving care.

In addition, IMESO has been an integral part of our Nursing Residency Program and has expanded the minds of new nurses who are on a journey to professionally develop and commit to a vocation of nursing others.”

A Nursing Administrator said…

“IMESO has supported and enhanced my personal journey to live a life of gratitude and truly live every day as if it is the best day ever. This, in turn, has become my foundation for servant leadership to help fellow nurses connect to their passion and calling.”

An Executive Officer said…

“IMESO has put meaning and purpose in what we do as a compassionate, healing health system. In my experience, IMESO has served as the conscience and soul of Ochsner Health System. IMESO helps to answer the question, ‘Why do I do this for a living?’ which we all ask at times.”

A Specialist in Medicine said….

“Spirituality is the competency acquired and matured throughout a medical education process which forms the foundation for compassionate and caring connections made between the healthcare provider and the patient. Without it, no real healing of heart, mind, or soul is capable of occurring. IMESO reminds us of this important spirit necessary to the practice of medicine.”

A Senior Physician said…

“IMESO has given me the opportunity to improve my professional life since I am able to reflect on what I do. Reflection is defined ‘as serious thought or consideration’. Thus, having IMESO reminding me that our patients are the focus of our daily activities (through reflection) and how much do we help them it has allowed refocusing my mind to patient care and therefore a better doctor. At the end it has given me more professional satisfaction.”

A Social Worker said…

“IMESO reminds us that spirituality is the very air that we breathe…it is what gives us life. To neglect that aspect of our health and wholeness is to neglect a potentially powerful force in our healing.”

A Physician Administrator said…

“I have heard several stories on the positive impact of IMESO in our organization. I interview physician candidates. In reviewing the background of these candidates, I have identified several individuals who have training/educational experience/interest in theology or evidence of involvement with spirituality in their medical training. In each of these cases, I describe IMESO as an example of Ochsner’s unique dedication to patient care at all levels.

The response from these candidates is always extremely positive, and they are most impressed with our innovation in this program. I have introduced several of these physicians to IMESO, and I understand they are excited to participate.”

A Researcher said…

“Values and virtues are essential for a satisfying and meaningful personal existence. These values include a sense of humanity, a commitment to courageous behavior, an ongoing consideration of justice, a continuous desire to expand knowledge, a respect for wisdom, the practice of personal and professional prudence, and the understanding and perception of spirituality. IMESO reminds all at Ochsner Health System of these important aspects in healthcare.”

A Physician Educator said…

“The psychosocial work environment has worsened as demands on physicians have increased at the same time as autonomy and satisfaction with the profession of medicine have decreased. Studies have shown that up to 46% of practicing physicians report at least one symptom of burnout. And with that sobering statistic in mind, I was introduced to IMESO. IMESO inspired the concept of teaching virtues to our medical students to provide them a scaffolding to build resilience upon as they face the complexities and stresses of the practice of medicine. Our core faculty soon experienced a similar ‘aha’ as they participated in a faculty development retreat on the virtues. We have now taught 6 courses to our 4th year medical students over the past year reaching over 75 students. Students learn courage, wisdom, temperance, humanity, transcendence, and justice along with their associated character strengths. The students and faculty view the course as a transformational experience. Our core faculty comment on how the course explicitly teaches humanity that is sorely missing from this new era of medicine. IMESO is truly transforming the way we educate our medical students and in doing so transforming the culture of Ochsner. On rounds I now hear a student speaking about the courage it takes to have that end of life conversation or the wisdom demonstrated by their resident in handling a complex situation. Students also demand more from their faculty as they expect them to live and practice the virtues. I am comforted that through our work with IMESO we have accomplished all the 5 pillars of the Ochsner mission. Our program is an innovative way of educating our medical students which demonstrates leadership while serving and helping to heal our health care providers by teaching them the virtues and improving their resilience.”

A Facilities Employee said…

“Compared to most healthcare organizations, I think the majority of our employees truly believe Ochsner serves a higher purpose of caring for the needy. Personally, I take pride in knowing that there is something special we do every day and I have an appreciation to be given the opportunity to make a difference in so many individual’s lives. From inception Ochsner has focused on medical and educational issues and does this quite well, evidenced by the many accomplishments and recognition of quality patient care over the years. These accomplishments and our success are also evident by the many awards, testimonials from grateful patients, national and local press, etc. What I think has been missing and what I believe IMESO is trying to satisfy is the “spiritual” aspect of how we give care… the “Why” that higher purpose that gets us out of bed every day, that drives us with a “fire in the belly” to wants to get better. IMESO brings purpose to our patient care beyond cold technical medical treatment. It allows us to reflect on our behaviors; how a simple smile might make a patient’s family member going through a rough time feel a little bit better, or a touch of a hand by the nurse may give comfort to those in pain. I think there are certain people in our organization that embody this spirit and gift of making other feel better without even knowing they are doing it. For those of us who need guidance and spiritual awareness to keep us on the right track, I think a program like IMESO will help make us a better organization.”

An Internal Medicine Physician said…

“An organization can foster workplace connectivity in many ways. The Institute of Medicine and Spirituality at Ochsner (IMESO) is one of the structures in this institution that promotes mental healing and spiritual growth for its providers. A hospital system, whose mission is to take care of human lives in times of social change, illness, epidemics, and disasters, needs to have a psychologically safe place within its core structure where this growth is nurtured. Times change, values change, personnel and systems change, but the need for excellent healthcare never leaves us. Uncertainty and workplace stress take their toll on everyone. A large hospital system such as ours needs a permanent structure that can help the provider and the administrator build the internal skills desired for great patient care and for personal growth. IMESO should be expanded in scope, breadth and depth to encourage education, development of our common values and connectivity. Without acknowledging the interconnectedness amongst providers and administrators, meaning and purpose diminishes and loyalties fade away.

Like it or not, medicine and spirituality are inseparable. Caring for the sick and for families who suffer a great loss sometimes necessitates understanding and participation in their spiritual experiences. It is important for their health, emotional growth and well- being. At a time of loss people need validation of their personhood, expression of their virtues, and recognition of their place in the community. It is a grounding that sets the stage for the grief relief, keeps everyone strong and connected, and sends them in the right direction after the painful reality is over.

Professionals who endure the grief of others need to be spiritually mature themselves, so that they can effectively cope and behave in a positive manner. They do this work because they intuitively feel the connections to and beyond other people, and the interconnectedness gives them meaning, purpose and personal well-being. When professionals operate with solid core values, their behaviors are reflexive, natural and always in the best interest of the patient.

Spirituality is not identification with a certain religion. It is the recognition of the interconnectedness we all share, and a deep appreciation of another's value system. It requires exploration and experience. It is a slow stepwise process that only occurs with increasing awareness, guidance and contemplation, and one must be open and ready to trust in it. When we share each other's spirituality, a trusting relationship develops between us. Cultures mix, core values rise, communities become redefined, and loyalties are created. Spirituality allows health professionals to view the circumstances from a higher level of thinking. Their mental health is then preserved and the patient ultimately benefits.

This is true not only for the patient /physician relationship but also for the hospital administrative/provider relationship. Core values like compassion, empathy, patient centeredness and physician engagement arise from a work place where professionals perceive stability, where values are clearly defined, and where they have a voice in the process of development. Communication, respect, love and understanding are two way streets, and require a continuous dialog about values and change, and must occur both up and down the chain of command. This sharing must be purposeful and the bonds made real, and not contrived for appearances sake. Time and presence must be allotted for this work of life, which is vital to a healthcare institution. Workplace spirituality defines the interconnectedness amongst employees that also aligns goals, reduces stress and promotes positive coping skills.

A Director in Women’s Health said…

“Leaders at Ochsner have many things to be concerned about daily. Going through the virtues education gives leaders time out of their day to focus on their leadership styles. Learning about the virtues and examining your strengths and weaknesses in each of them helps a leader with introspection and helps to focus areas of change. IMESO is a huge asset to Ochsner. IMESO helps leaders excel by furthering understanding themselves and what they stand for so they can lead with excellence.”

A Financial Administrator said…

“My involvement with IMESO is something I consider extraordinarily valuable to my growth not only as an Ochsner employee but on a personal and professional level. IMESO has helped find a way to find meaning in how we are working as a team to help people and our community. It gives me a sense of peace to discuss with others what is so great about being in healthcare and at Ochsner. As a member of the administration, it can be difficult to relate to relate with what physicians and care givers do on a daily basis. IMESO gives me the platform to reflect on what drives me and my colleagues and why I choose every day to be a part of Ochsner.”

A Physician Chairperson said…

“In the fall of 2013 our departmental retreat invited IMESO to facilitate a learning discussion regarding virtues in the daily practice of patient care. This was indicated because of declining engagement scores by our lay staff, and to a lesser degree, by our providers. This exercise helped us to gain a much needed deeper appreciation for the talents that every member of our clinical team provided on a day-to-day basis. Suddenly, everyone better recognized what our phone people and front office staff really do on a daily basis to facilitate patient throughput.

The doctors better understood the roles of our middle-level providers and also the members of our allied healthcare team. A recent pulse survey revealed that the bar has been moved considerably…as from 30% to over 80% engagement across the entire departmental team.”

A Translational Researcher said…

“I believe IMESO will improve employee commitment and talent retention. It will also enable employees to better manage work pressure and improve the work efficiency of Ochsner as a whole. With IMESO, Ochsner will certainly become a better workplace.”

A Senior Nurse said…

“I have been taking care of patients and their wounds for my entire nursing career. Many years ago I realized that to properly care for the patient, it was important not to just take care of the hole in the patient, but to take care of the whole patient. The mission and vision of IMESO exemplify this. The mind-body-spirit connection is strong and cannot be denied. When we heal, inspire and transform through the integration of medicine, education and spirituality we become the beneficiaries of reciprocal healing between patient and caregiver. Being a part of IMESO has helped me reconnect more deeply with my inner self which in turn helps me to connect more effectively with my patients. It is a win-win situation for all.”

A Security Officer said…

“IMESO has been a true inspiration for our team and given us an idea of what our focus should be; not only to serve, heal, lead, educate and innovate but to develop our staff morally, ethically and even spiritually so they may learn how to serve and understand others and, ultimately, serve and understand themselves.”

A Safety Officer said…

“I believe IMESO ignites a spark within individuals employed at Ochsner. IMESO provides a foundation for leadership to help develop departmental virtues which can then be applied on a more practical basis, in order to develop better self- awareness within one’s respective work environment. It also allows leaders to gauge overall satisfaction levels from their staff in a more intimate and personal arena. IMESO provides education about virtues and how we can as a health system provide the best overall experience for our patients and guests by becoming our best selves at work with a more integrated ‘hands on’ approach.”

An Ochsner Medical Student said…

“IMESO provides a guiding light in this tumultuous and rapidly changing healthcare environment. As systems demand more productivity and value, IMESO reminds us that humanism and virtue remain the most important aspects of high-quality healthcare provision.”

A Nursing Professional said…

“When I considered leaving the hospital where I worked for fourteen years, I was looking for a healthcare system where connection matters. When I read about IMESO online before joining Ochsner, it was a big draw for me to join this team. Learning about the virtues and helping share the message of these with nurses, PCTs and others has been one of my greatest joys and satisfiers since I've worked here. Unless people feel the connection to the people they serve and understand its value in their work, they will not be fully serving the patient's needs. Serving with spirit, in my belief, underpins excellent outcomes.”

A Finance Administrator said…

“When I decided to leave my previous profession over two years ago, I was in search of an opportunity to better contribute to my community using my talents and time. I chose the Finance Fellowship here at Ochsner after getting to know its leaders and preceptors and being truly moved by their commitment to our employees, patients, and their families. IMESO allows me to stay tied to my purpose at this organization and initial reason for joining the health system. I strongly believe that the missing link between Ochsner’s efforts, employee satisfaction, and outstanding quality lies in the idea of meaningful work and connecting daily activities with our spiritual calling as people. I am thrilled to see that the new administrative fellows are learning about IMESO and getting involved early in their careers here. The skills they learn and connections they make through IMESO will help them spread the mission in all of their interactions at Ochsner.”

A Social Work Administrator said…

“The purpose and goals of IMESO have the potential to propel Ochsner into an even more forward-thinking, holistic framework which will improve lives of both patients and staff. As a professional and clinical social worker, I see opportunities all around me each day for people to incorporate compassionate care spiritual care (for self and for others), which I truly believe will enhance everyone's experience within our health system. IMESO has a chance to directly impact patient and caregiver satisfaction as well as employee satisfaction, retention and engagement. My hope is that this committee has a voice which is able to be effectively heard, and initiatives which will effectively be implemented within this great organization to make it even more innovative for the future of everyone involved.”

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“I describe IMESO as an example of Ochsner’s unique dedication to patient care at all levels.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“IMESO has given me the opportunity to improve my professional life since I am able to reflect of what I do.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“IMESO has put meaning and purpose in what we do as a compassionate, healing health system.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“IMESO has supported and enhanced my personal journey to live a life of gratitude and truly live every day as if it is the best day ever.”

Read more

What People Are Saying

“IMESO helps to remind me what is really important in helping to deliver healthcare to patients in need of it. Stay humble and serve the needs of others. If we all strive to do that, the RVUs, etc. will all take care of themselves.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“IMESO’s presence at Ochsner allows for colleagues to navigate the challenges that arise as they connect their personal mission to OHS goals. I have personally enjoyed the connections that IMESO offers as the function of the institute truly begins by connecting those who are passionate about improving care.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“IMESO has prompted me to deepen my own sense of spirituality, and help to extend the same reflective and cognitive experience to my colleagues. It is THE reason I am here at Ochsner enjoying my daily practice.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“IMESO represents an untapped and key tool for Ochsner to meet its chief goals including patient loyalty, employee/leader/physician engagement, clinical outcomes and yes, financial metrics.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

"I believe that IMESO not only gives people permission to openly explore their innate spiritual needs, but is also a concrete venue to define spirituality.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“For me, IMESO represents one of the most significant, insightful advances that Ochsner has made in its recent history.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“IMESO has taught me about spirituality and what it means to be a spiritual leader and how to develop as a leader by challenging myself to develop and grow spiritually.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

"We have worked hard to infuse the thoughts and concepts of IMESO at our hospital. This has helped ensure that the board and leadership team are in alignment in supporting the programs and services that most support the patient and our employees.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“IMESO has reminded me as a nurse leader that there is more to the patient than their diagnosis.”

Read More

What People Are Saying

“As a nurse it was so refreshing to see the virtues highlighted by IMESO and so intricately engrained into nursing education.”

Read More

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