The Mass-based Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care was set up in 1994 by a lung cancer patient who learned that “the smallest acts of kindness made the unbearable bearable.” Each year, the center gives out an award. This year’s winner is the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Haitian Mental Health Team, “a multidisciplinary team of caregivers who treat Haitian and Haitian-American patients in more than a half dozen communities in eastern Massachusetts”
The $5,000 award “recognizes those who embody compassionate care…
· communicates sensitively with patients and loved ones
· listens carefully, showing empathy and instilling hope
· respects patients’ values, culture, choices and decisions
· understands the significance of patients’ families and communities.”
Globe columnist Adrian Walker had this to say about the group in a recent column:
That title may be long and bureaucratic-sounding, but behind it is a dedicated group of mental health providers who have just been through 10 months many of their peers could not imagine.
They have served a community battered by the emotional ripple effects of the earthquake that shattered the country in January, and then by the cholera epidemic that followed. And they have done so with passion and commitment.