“A Tribute: Annette and Pam” by Dianne H. Timmering

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31: 24

On Tuesday, we attended two celebrations of life for two of our CEO Administrators who passed within 24 hours of each other. They were special. They brought excellence to the job in the care of the resident and excellent in their work in the management, leadership and love of their teams. They both met the challenge of death with bravery and yet hope was ever present as the prayer team, family members and so many fought for their healing, and a peace in their core–the kind that only God can give.

It was the best we could do–pray, and hope the seeping of God’s solace would infiltrate so that fears would allay without hover in such journeys of the unknown. I close my eyes and see them–Pam a secret angel, a gifting of encouragement when needed most, unexpected in the moment. She was joyful, ever so, and as tender as the soil of new sand along the beach of morning softness.

Annette was tough and generous. She did not give away “I love yous” freely–they were never a waste and when you got one, it was the soil of truth embedded in a root that could grow up and out in a thousand directions of touch and impact; she had the grace to lead and the desire to master what was put before her.

The soil of kindness and the root of grace: both whisper, “Never give up.”

We honor you both and we will miss you, but your eye is upon God now and we are your distant shore and your light is the portal to newness of every wonderful thing. Your legacies are now our memories, and you are free.

Dianne H. Timmering, MBA, MFA, CAN


XX in Health Invite-Only Event – Decca Restaurant, Louisville, KY – November 11, 2013

XX in Health, powered by Rock Health, connects and empowers female visionaries to drive change in healthcare.

Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality for Signature HealthCARE and Alicia Heazlitt, Director of Innovate LTC, are pleased to host a XX in Health Retreat at Decca Restaurant at 812 E Market St, Louisville, KY on November 11, 2013.

This sold-out, invite-only event will bring together over 40 experienced and promising female leaders from across the healthcare community to spark innovation in healthcare.

The agenda for the evening will be as follows:
5:30 PM – Drinks and Fellowship
6:30 PM – Dinner
6:45 PM – Introduction and Welcome by Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality, Signature HealthCARE, and Alicia Heazlitt, Director, Innovate LTC
7:00 PM – Speaker, Lara Macgregor, Founder, Hope Scarves
7:15 PM – Speaker, Mary Zappone, President, RecoverCare LLC
7:30 PM – Speaker, Dr. Debra Gmelin, Corporate Director for the Leadership Institute at Humana Inc.
7:45 PM – Closing, Dianne Timmering and Alicia Heazlitt

We look forward to seeing all of our invitees at this intimate and transformative event. If you can no longer attend, please let us know right away at either dtimmering@signaturehealthcarellc.com or aheazlitt@innovateltc.com as we have a waitlist of women whom we would like to give the opportunity to attend.

#xxinhealthlouisville, #diannetimmering


“The Deconstruction of Suffering: The New Elixir in the Care Continuum” by Dianne H. Timmering

Joe and I recently attended the September 12, 2013 Healthcare Enterprises Network event, “A Path Forward for Providers in the Era of Health Care Reform: Lessons from Massachusetts,” by Thomas H. Lee, MD who was a part of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act passed in April 2006.

Dr. Lee started with how the MA Health Reform Act unfolded, discussing contentious issues like employer penalties, funding concerns, the state budget crisis, shared risk, payer models, etc.

“We learned a lot,” he said, and then built a relational discussion about care redesign based on what was learned, which involved access to care, design of care and its measurement. He considered what was important to the patient, the power of value-based care as a proactive resurgence to quality and cost minimization. After all, it wasn’t rocket science, or even necessarily revolutionary; just practical solutions to shield against the finite healthcare pool and the well-meaning care givers and circuitous systems through which we find ourselves navigating. There were no “magic bullets,” he said.

But Joe and I were suddenly struck with the unexpected next which seeped into the second level of consciousness like the smell of hot chili in a hallway—Take the emotion out of healthcare. Now Dr. Lee wasn’t personally advocating this, only stating it as a hypothetical physician rule, an old school directive, a survival of choice in the surrounds of stacked up sickness. Not that physicians were wrong to choose such a stance when delivering the care they knew best, when surviving the best of what they could give was offering the knowledge of medicine from the distance of the heart.

But patients are afraid, Dr. Lee said, with clarity of realness, his moderate frame filled with the giant of his ideas, the metamorphoses of strategic simplicity: “Improve value for patients; improve the outcomes that matter to patients versus the costs required to deliver those services,” he said with emphatic pause. “Reduce suffering and do it as efficiently as possible.”

And then the patient value will come. Cost savings to follow?

But what’s in the design of de-“sufferization”? How to deconstruct the fear, the anxiety, the deleterious sounds of the symptoms of suffering from the honesty of bad news, the slather of hopelessness, an unstoppable mind pinging loud with the bell which tolls that sickness is near?

Deliberate intent to deconstruct the hurt was his most avid point, at least to me. And we were listening, compelled to be there by the pull of an unknown tug, looking for knowledge, always seeking answers to the convulsing healthcare landscape that shakes daily around us. And there was a solution, right in our own back yard.

We realized we were nearer to this concept of defiance because within our walls was a calibrated melody of the spiritual as an intervention of healing. Even early on as we created and built our spiritual model, we saw residents finishing their prescribed therapy because they were encouraged by a spiritual quality, an essence of empowerment that reached into their state of loneliness and sorrow of condition, and belief in the resurgence of faith that wellness mattered and change of condition was possible. Depression around circumstance, we found, could circumvent healing. Remembrance and reminders of why they mattered, prayer in the ethereal of the tangible of faith’s presence began to infuse the possible into the physical of the outcome.

Our model: Spiritual inputs for optimized outcome, offering the support of prayer, the hope in the Divine, the power of comfort in the belief and practice traditions of a particular faith, and integrating that with the prescription of our care. Our brave new world idea was suddenly a practical one.

And Dr. Lee knew this, and when Joe and I went up to meet him after the speech, he knew us. And we were amazed that the outside world of quality and measures was looking at us, peering inside at our own attempt to defy the anguish of fear and unleash the Dunamis power of reconstructed hope.

Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality, Signature HealthCARE

“The only true measures of quality are the outcomes that matter to patients.” Harvard Business Review, The Strategy That Will Fix Health Care, by Michael E. Porter and Thomas H. Lee