Inspiring, Supporting, Giving Back

By Katie Winsor, MSN, RN, CPHQ


Christie King BSN, RN, CMSRN, unit council chair, was the volunteer lead for the medical nursing unit’s (D4/4) second year "Hammering with Heart."I believe the true essence of transformational leadership begins with inspiring others. It’s the fun part of leadership. Transformational leadership is about having a vision and providing encouragement, support and opportunities that motivate staff to carry that vision successfully.


In early 2013, the D4/4 unit council organized a teambuilding event that would also give back to the community. In April 2013, we participated in our first "Hammer with Heart" volunteer project organized by Project Home, a voluntary program that provides home repairs, basic maintenance, and improves families’ safety, comfort and health in their homes for no- to low-cost.


The D4/4 staff and I "hammered with heart" in collaboration with professional carpenters to provide lawn clean-up, house cleaning, and new siding for a man with complex medical needs. The experience of helping others in the community not only brought our team closer together, but was fulfilling on a personal level.


In 2014, when it was time to create a D4/4 departmental action plan to support UW Health’s strategic goals, we were excited to increase our philanthropy efforts. We decided to support our population health goal by organizing and participating in two to three philanthropic events by December 31, 2014. We signed up for Hammer with Heart in April and "Savory Sunday" in May.


Hammer with Heart for 2014 was on a chilly but sunny April Sunday where our volunteer group helped clean and repair a home for a family with a special needs child. Because this was the second year, our unit council chair was able to be the volunteer leader for the entire project. We cleaned up their yard, did some landscaping and built a raised garden bed. We stained the entire outside of the house and painted most of the interior. Meanwhile, a group of professionals from Project Home repaired windows and siding and remodeled two bathrooms that were damaged from water leaks.


In May, D4/4 staff volunteered with a non-profit group called Savory Sunday. Each Sunday, a meal is prepared by a volunteer group and served in downtown Madison for people in need. Our group prepared large portions of donated food to be served at the Capitol later that day.


These events fostered a spirit of camaraderie on our unit, offered time for staff to interact in different ways outside the "shiftchange window." We feel fortunate for these opportunities to serve and contribute to the health of our community. To celebrate our success and keep the vision alive, I collected pictures and created a poster of each event that is proudly displayed on our unit.