story and photo by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
The joy of simply being present with loved ones and making their day a little brighter.
The pride that comes with honoring a loved one who gave their life in the service of country.
These simple things have always been foundational for Missy Beckett.
As a registered nurse, Beckett has cared for people from all walks of life, all the while knowing that memories they create will last a lifetime.
It’s this approach that Beckett promised to keep as the director for the aptly named Promise Care Hospice service.
Promise Care is locally and privately owned and Beckett has worked with the owner more than a decade now.
The focus has and always will be personal.
“I want to be small,” Beckett said. “As an RN and the director I want to know everyone. I want to know who my team is talking about. I want to know every single person’s name. I want to know their families. I don’t want ever to be too big to not know why I’m doing this.”
Promise Care is comprised of an expert teams of caregivers consisting of registered nurses, physicians, home healthcare aides, social workers, chaplains, bereavement counselors and trained volunteers.
The palliative care offered eases pain and discomfort for all who experience it.
Social and spiritual support for both patients and their loved ones is bedrock.
Volunteers are often the lifeblood of a quality hospice experience.
That’s where Stacy Wingfield comes in. Promise Care’s volunteer coordinator hand picks those individuals with both the heart and compassion for the role.
Wingfield knows no paycheck could ever be equal both the service volunteers provide and the what they receive in return.
“They’ve gotten a lot of strength,” Wingfield said of her volunteers. “We have training all along the way. You don’t have to have any medical background at all. It’s very interesting the different areas. You could be a florist and want to volunteer to put arrangements together.”
“You could be a masseuse and maybe come do hand massages or an art student who wants to make cards and do crafts. There are so many different avenues.”
One of Wingfields volunteers is an author who comes in after book tours and takes her book into a home and reads while in costume.
“The older you get the more life has thrown at you and the more you do understand where people are coming from,” Wingfield said.
Beckett knew of a woman through healthcare that transportation circumstances had left her homebound. She decided to present her the opportunity to volunteer.
“It has changed her entire outlook on everything to be able to get out and visit and help and spend time with people,” Beckett said. “It’s super important for the patient to have a neutral person to be able to tell their fears. They’re not going to tell their family. Sometime they’ll tell us as a nurse but to have someone who can go in and spend four or five hours at the bedside and just watch TV or read or have a conversation it’s so important.”
“And it’s important for the family to get out of the house and get a break and we really encourage that.”
From the outset, Beckett has brought her staff out into the community when they’re not in patients’ homes.
Once a month you’ll find the Promise Care team working at a homeless shelter serving others.
Every year you’ll find Beckett and staff handing out turkeys with a local law firm.
“Our group is really unique. We like to get out and go do things probably a lot of other businesses don’t do together,” Beckett said.
Remembering the holidays are always packed with events, Beckett was scolded by her staff this year when she suggested they take December off from the shelter serving line.
“They got mad at me,” Beckett laughed. “We like to give back. I think for most of the staff we all have to have a paycheck but I think we’d all do this for free.”
Honoring loved ones is what Promise Care is all about.
And Beckett admits she has a soft spot for veterans.
“I’m a Lawton girl so veterans are near and dear to my heart,” she said. “My dad is buried at the national cemetery. People on our team are veterans so we want to honor them, too.”
It’s those little things along the way that most don’t realize that are actually the big things in life.
And it’s those moments that Beckett promises to make count.