Honered for her compassion for end-of-life issues
End-of-life issues are always difficult, even when you’re used to dealing with them as part of your job. After losing her beloved father, registered nurse Peggy Matthews returned to work at Methodist Fayette Hospital with a passion for end-of-life care. Because of her compassionate efforts to create a peaceful, “end-of-life” room for families and patients, Matthews is one of just four recipients nationwide to receive the 2010 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award.
Taking the room with the nicest view of the hospital’s picturesque grounds, Matthews turned a clinical hospital room into a warm, home-like environment. She designed a space with warm colors, soft lighting, calming artwork and comfortable furniture. For an additional, personal touch, Peggy established a collaboration with a local quilting club to create beautiful blankets for the patients.
“Peggy Matthews’s care and compassion for the patients and families dealing with end-of-life issues is truly inspiring. She offers families an oasis of calm during their most difficult, heart-breaking time,” says Wendell Mobley, who directs Cherokee Uniforms’ charitable and scholarship programs.
The Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award is granted by Cherokee Uniforms as a way of recognizing the caring work of nurses and other non-physician healthcare professionals who provide exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation, while positively impacting others’ lives. This is the eighth year the leading designer and manufacturer of healthcare apparel has honored inspirational caregivers.
Matthews was nominated by Janet Hunt, administrative director at Methodist Fayette Hospital, where Matthews works. She explains, “Peggy could truly empathize with the emotions that families dealing with a loved one who is dying are feeling. She channeled the pain of her own loss into creating a supportive environment for others dealing with the same situation.”
As the National Winner, Matthews receives an all-expense-paid trip to a 2011 medical conference in the continental United States of her choice; a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Cherokee Footwear worth more than $1,000; annual membership to her preferred clinical association; a $500 donation in her name to the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation; a Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award trophy; a 14K gold-plated commemorative pin and a year’s subscription to Scrubs, the nation’s first lifestyle magazine for nurses.
For Matthews, the most rewarding part of nursing is establishing empathy with her patients. “It has been said that empathy is the foundation of caring. In my years of nursing, I have found that the most emotional messages are without words—a silent connection that binds people together,” she says.
Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, more than 9,000 healthcare professionals have been nominated across the various nursing and non-physician disciplines. A panel of Cherokee representatives and past Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award recipients evaluates nominations and grants the awards.
For every nomination, Cherokee Uniforms donated $1.00 to Nurse’s House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship. Cherokee Uniforms will be accepting nominations for the 2011 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award beginning March 1 through May 31, 2011. For further information on the award, please visit http://inspiredcomfort.com or receive updates on Twitter- @InspiredComfort.