We've recently heard a lot about getting back to basics in work comp, celebrating the things we do right, fixing the things we do wrong, advocating for injured workers, and rewarding individuals who make great contributions. I think this is a great idea. And I'd like to make a contribution to this industry-wide conversation...
...by utterly embarrassing a trusted colleague (who, after she reads this, may never speak to me again).
We like to think of ourselves here at PRIUM as "fighting the good fight" against the scourge of opioid misuse and abuse, the fundamental public health problem of chronic pain management, and the potentially overwhelming clinical and financial consequences of complex work comp claims. Most of us come to work each day prepared for battle - passionate about what we do, but also acutely aware of past battles won and lost. Good days find us celebrating wins: better health, safety, and functionality for injured workers. Bad days find us coping with the death of an injured worker whose medication regimen wasn't changed quickly enough. Sometimes we just don't have enough time.
But after good days and bad days, all of us go home, detach, unplug, do something else to help us prepare for the next day's battles.
All of us, that is, except for one.
Linda Breads is PRIUM's Director of Medication Oversight Services. She's a nurse by training and experience and she leads a group of dedicated professionals here at PRIUM in following up, coordinating, and creating accountability on necessary medication changes for injured workers. She's extraordinarily good at what she does here at PRIUM. But that's just the start of her day...
When Linda leaves work, she doesn't detach. She serves our local community as a standby paramedic at local youth sports events. I took my kids to a high school football game last year and had the pleasure of running into Linda, ready and waiting on the sideline in case an injured player needed medical attention.
But perhaps her greatest contribution to our community is the role she plays in helping keeping all of us safe. Since 2005, Linda has served as a Citizens Auxiliary Police Service (CAPS) Officer with the Alpharetta, GA police department. And she's done more than just volunteer. Linda has three times been awarded CAPS "Officer of the Quarter"; in 2009, she was awarded CAPS "Officer of the Year"; and in 2014, she was awarded "Police Safety Volunteer of the Year." (None of which, by the way, she's ever mentioned to me. I had to send spies to find out about all of this).
In the course of her work as a CAPS officer, Linda routinely confronts the brutal reality of prescription drug and heroin abuse. She lives it here at PRIUM... and she lives it in her role as community volunteer. Up close and personal, for the entire live-long day. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the heroin epidemic here in my local community. As I wrote that post, it occurred to me that while I might research, write, and talk about the issue, Linda leaves a full day of hard work here at PRIUM and goes out into our community to actually do something about it.
And I think that's awesome. Linda spends her free time trying to do exactly what she does during her professional time: make the world a little bit safer.
Linda would have been a superb professional police officer. But I'm personally glad she became a nurse. I'm proud that she works here at PRIUM. I'm even prouder that she works so hard and is so dedicated and passionate about her job. But most of all, I'm proud she lives in my community. The world is made up of communities just like ours, just like yours. And the world would be a safer place with more people like Linda in it.
On Twitter @PRIUM1