Liaison sends birthday wishes to ill patients
As a pharmacy liaison, Nicole Wallace helps patients at UCHealth Cancer Care – Memorial Hospital Central navigate insurance co-pays and prescription renewals.
Wallace embraces making connections to help patients afford their therapies, especially because cancer treatments may be expensive. She also coordinates hospital visits with prescription renewals so elderly (and often mobility-impaired) patients make only one trip.
While finances are the biggest challenge for many of her patients, Wallace makes sure she cares for their emotional side, too. With her own money, she ordered 100 birthday cards from an online retailer to send to patients.
“I just wanted to do something for them, something different,” Wallace said of her decision to send a card to each of her patients within a few days of their birthday.
Wallace purposely selected blank cards and adds personal messages for those suffering from serious illnesses.
“A card that says ‘Happy Birthday and many more’ seemed both generic and insensitive to what these people are going through,” Wallace said. “That’s why I picked blank cards and hand write a note.”
Her messages are simple:
- “Sincerely wishing you the best of celebrations on this wonderful day of yours. May your home be filled with all that you need to be comfortable in life. Happy birthday!”
- “I wish your birthday will be defined by love, joy and happiness. I hope that you will be graced with the strength to accomplish all that you aspire in your days ahead. Happy birthday!”
- “Here is a wish for your birthday. May you receive whatever you ask for, may you find whatever you seek. Happy birthday.”
- “Warmest wishes for a very happy birthday.”
The reaction from her patients humbled Wallace while reinforcing her decision.
“I heard from one patient who told me mine was the only card she got on her birthday,” Wallace said. “On one hand, I felt horrible that she only got one. On the other, I was glad she got something.”