What’s your promise?

I Promise

New initiative highlights your role in every patient’s experience

By April Frawley Birdwell

The UF Health Science Center and Shands HealthCare teamed up to launch "I Promise," an initiative highlighting the patient experience on Jan. 19 in the Shands at UF Atrium./Photo by Maria Belen Farias

For Leon Rowe, it comes down to helping the patients he shuttles across UF and Shands in any way he can, even just taking them to pay a parking ticket.

“I promise to go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure everyone on the property of Shands and UF feels welcome and loved and cared for,” said Rowe, speaking to a crowd packed into the Shands at UF Atrium.

Leon Rowe, a Shands public transport driver, shared his promise during the kickoff event./Photo by Jesse S. Jones

For speech-language pathologist Sara Plager, it’s about treating patients with respect and dignity. To Stephanie Scrambling, it’s always making sure to be the friendly, helpful voice on the line when a patient calls her in the College of Dentistry student clinics.

No matter what role he or she plays, everyone who works and studies at the HSC and Shands can help improve a patient’s experience, even in a small way. This is primary message of the “I Promise” initiative, which Rowe, Scrambling and Plager helped leaders unveil Jan. 19 in the Shands at UF Atrium.

“The message of ‘I Promise’ is that nothing we do is as important as the way each of us individually treat the people who come to us in need of care,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System.

Each of us can help foster a culture that puts our patients at the heart of everything we do, Guzick says. Whether you are a Shands HealthCare employee or volunteer, or a UF HSC faculty member, resident, student or staff member, “I Promise” means you embrace your role — your promise — in ensuring patients and their families have an excellent experience throughout UF&Shands.

To represent this promise, UF and Shands employees and students are asked to develop their own promise statements and wear an “I Promise” button. When asked what the button is, share your promise with others.

Photo by Jesse S. Jones

“What I would ask you is to remember what we are all about, ultimately, and that is to treat every patient and family member as our guest, offering shelter from their storm,” said Tim Goldfarb, Shands HealthCare CEO.

What’s your promise?

For more information or to get “I Promise” buttons, call Shands Marketing and Public Relations at 352-265-0373 or HSC News & Communications at 352-273-5810. To share your promise, e-mail ipromise@shands.ufl.edu.