Every day is “Mother’s Day” for a multitude of mother/daughter duo employees at ProMedica Flower Hospital. In fact, the hospital boasts over a dozen families that have its members working under its roof. These skilled medical professionals have discovered that when it comes to recommending a working environment that feels like “family,” mother really does know best!
The Flower Girls
Linda Ramallo intended to stay at Promedica Flower Hospital for one year. That was 27 years ago.
“Once you are content,” states Linda, “you stay where you’re planted. We truly are ‘Flower’ girls.”
Linda, who works on the medical surgical floor as manager, enjoys seeing her daughter Bobbilyn Long, a step-down ICU RN/BSN, throughout the day. “When Bobbilyn was hired they failed to realize I was her mom,” she recalls. “We kept it very confidential. One of the bosses made the discovery and inquired if my daughter would feel uncomfortable with me in a supervisory role. She told them I have been telling her what to do her whole life. What would be different?”
The two women call each other by their first names at work. “I have thought about calling her ‘Molinda’ [Mom-Linda],” jokes Bobbilyn. “If you would see us outside of work, you would wonder how we pull this off,” says Linda. “We are so huggie and kissy.”
A Little Encouragement
“Of course I encouraged my daughter to go into nursing,” says Linda. “It is a stepping stone to so many things. For me it was always a positive experience.”
Bobbilyn feels fortunate she followed in her mother’s footsteps. “I was 100% influenced not only to explore nursing but to go to Flower. It was a ‘no brainer,'” she says. “This will be my 18th year working and growing here. I couldn’t be happier.”
Both women have enjoyed having people express their gratitude for the care they have received from patients.
“People have stopped me in the hallway to tell me positive things about my daughter, not realizing the family connection.” says Linda. “She knows how to perform and how to treat patients. We want to make a difference and to leave a positive legacy. My gift to Flower Hospital is my daughter. I raised my kids on my own and I look back and wonder how I did it. I think it sends a great message that if you want something bad enough; you will work for hard for it. Whenever I think I’m not doing enough, I look at my kids and see that they are really trying to make a positive difference. Now that’s a great legacy!”
Pass It On
“My mom is the gift to the hospital. My mother is so genuine and has a heart of gold,” says Bobbilyn. The mother of two children herself, 14 and 11, hopes to pass on the things her mother taught her. “I learned from my mom how to care from my toes to the top of my heart; to respect yourself as well as others; and to believe in yourself and your work. My mom, who is honest, truthful and faithful, has made me the mom, wife and nurse I am today.”
Like Mother Like Daughter
Julie Kookoothe, RN, director of psychiatry for ProMedica Flower and Toledo Hospitals and daughter Kayla Kookoothe, an ICU nurse, are another dynamic mother/daughter duo. Mom Julie has been at ProMedica Flower Hospital for 15 years. Daughter Kayla joined the Flower Team in 2013. Unlike some of the other mother and daughter duos, it can be difficult for the two women to meet during the work week.
“I try to keep up with Kayla’s schedule and swing through the ICU on my way out the door,” states Julie. “Often times she is ‘gowned up’ in her isolation garb. I get to wave and at least I get to see her face. Kayla will stop in if she has a quick break which isn’t too often.”
Both women not only enjoy working at the same facility as family but feel part of a larger one at the hospital. “The family aspect here at Flower is incredible. I can walk in a unit that I have never been in and you would never know it. It truly is a big family,” states Kayla. “I have gone to three of my coworkers’ baby showers and numerous weddings. We spend so much time together and understand the stresses and amazing awards that come with the job.”
Julie is quick, “The whole atmosphere here is caring. It extends outside of our individual departments.”
Kayla is currently in grad school to become a Nurse Practitioner. “Three other nurses in our ICU are getting their advanced degrees. We are a highly motivated group,” she says.
Julie continues to maintain her strong passion for patient care. “I have been in psychiatric nursing for 30 years,” she states. “At this point of my career, I make certain everyone is looking at the big picture. The commitment from ProMedica on mental health issues and their patients is amazing.”
Like her mother, Kayla understands the importance of a patient’s family in their healing process. “The ICU can be a scary place,” she states. “Many patients come in on vents and they cannot communicate their needs. You need to communicate with family members and make complicated medical information easily understood. I have a great role model for being compassionate.”
Three is NOT a Crowd
Teresa Fisher, ProMedica Flower Hospital clinical resource nurse, is thrilled to have daughters Andrea and Natalie Fisher under the same roof. “I do not hide the fact that we are family. We all look alike and everyone in the cafeteria knows we are related,” she states. “We are ‘The Lunch Bunch.’ We eat together at least a couple times a week. It depends on everyone’s schedule.”
When asked why she likes having her daughters work at the hospital Teresa states, “There is such a family culture here and such a community focus. It’s a friendly place to work. They set very high lofty goals and we all work together to accomplish them. Wouldn’t you would want your children working in this environment?”
A Different Perspective
Daughter Andrea works in material management, and daughter Natalie is a secretary in the psychiatric ward. Both enjoy having family under their work “roof”. Both women have been stopped in the hallways of the hospital with inquires about their family relation. “Once they put two and two together, they get the three of us!” says Andrea.
Having three Fishers at Flower has led to having a greater understanding and empathy for other coworkers. “Having the three of us in different areas of the hospital has given us a different perspective,” states Teresa. “We are all part of the team and everyone has their part to do. We have always been a very close family. My Dad, who passed away, last October, taught us that when the stakes are down, be there for each other. This work experience is just an extension of that.”
Continuing the Tradition
“It’s so fun working with my mom and sisters,” states Andrea. “I can go to my mom’s office and leave little surprises. Once I have a family I would love to have them continue on the tradition of working together.”
Natalie is thankful her mom encouraged her to work at Flower Hospital. She states, “It has been a really good opportunity with an extra added bonus of having my mom and sister here.” Both women admire their mother’s work ethic. Andrea states, “My mom is so caring and always goes the extra mile to take care of somebody.”
“Momhood” on Turbo
If you ever enter the doors of ProMedica Flower Hospital, keep an eye out for one of the dozen mother/daughter dynamic duos. The way their daughters describe their mothers’ super-charged compassion and strength, you would think that they should be wearing capes. Instead look for their welcoming smiles, supportive gestures and with what these ladies accomplish during a single shift, comfortable shoes.