Shore Medical Center is pleased to announce that Administrative Director of Patient and Family Experience/Planetree Coordinator for Patient Centered Care Tami Kitchen, BSN, RN, CPN, is the recipient of the medical center’s 2013 3rd Quarter Leadership Profile Award.
Kitchen joined Shore in 2004 as a pediatric staff nurse after stops at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Temple University Children’s Medical Center, both in Philadelphia, PA. An outspoken advocate for patient rights, she served as Maternal Child Health Supervisor and later Pediatric Nurse Manager before assuming her current title in 2009. In this role she has overseen Shore’s Planetree journey and championed a cultural shift that has transformed the medical center into a leading patient-centered care facility.
Kitchen’s commitment to putting patients first was evident from the moment she joined the Shore Medical Center staff. Over the past five years, Shore Medical Center has implemented a substantial number of initiatives and practices designed to enhance both the patient and staff experience. These programs included the creation of administrative rounds, patient-directed visitation, the Patient and Family Advisory Council and the No One Dies Alone program, which provides companions for patients near death who have no one to be with them.
In June, Shore Medical Center was formally designated by Planetree, Inc., as a “Planetree Designated® Patient-Centered Hospital.” This designation recognizes Shore’s achievement and innovation in the delivery of patient-centered care. Shore is the only hospital in New Jersey and one of less than 50 healthcare organizations worldwide to receive the Patient-Centered Designation since the program’s launch in 2007.
Kitchen’s coworkers praise her for guiding Shore’s Planetree program with boundless energy and enthusiasm. A positive force for change, she believes in and promotes a culture of collaboration evident by an open-door policy and a can-do attitude that is infectious.
“Tami not only represents the Planetree philosophy of patient-centered care, she exudes the essence of what we all want to give to our patients and to receive as individuals: to be treated with kindness and compassion and always respected,” said Palliative Care Manager Maureen Deely, RN, MSN, CHPN, CEN. “Tami is the advocate who articulates the needs of the patient and their families, ensuring that we all practice ‘patient centered care.’ She is the peer who is a generous listener, who mentors many of us through new roles and career changes. It is Tami who reminds us that the words we speak carry great weight and guides us to use our hearts as well as our heads.”
Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Kitchen is a registered nurse and certified pediatric nurse who earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Rowan University. She lives in Ocean City, NJ, with her husband Tom and their three daughters, Mackenzie, 15, Madison, 14, and Meagan, 5.
“Achieving our Planetree designation has been a tremendous accomplishment, and I treasure the opportunity I have been given to champion patient-centered care at Shore,” said Kitchen. “I am thankful for the many relationships I have made across the entire organization as well as with patients and their families. This recognition is truly humbling, and makes me love what I do here even more.”