Years before our organization began a conversation about the RIGHT way Standards of Behavior, Erik was living out those characteristics day after day. For almost 20 years, Erik has served at the “heart” of Hospice Austin’s Christopher House as the Unit Clerk. In this role, Erik serves not only the staff but also patients and families. He’s the one people go to when they need information or help—and in this capacity he has the finger on the pulse of day-to-day activities.
He greets families as they arrive, handles incoming telephone and email messages, responds to patients when they call for help, keeps staff and volunteers informed of new admits, prepares charts, helps with schedules, and completes more tasks during each of his shifts than could possibly be named here. As he completes these duties, he exudes a positive, hospitality-filled attitude in both words and actions. Erik is collaborative and brilliantly creative, and he consistently works to improve the environment around him in both big and small ways. He is dependable and honest and you know that the decisions he makes are always ones with integrity and quality patient care as the intention. Erik is exceedingly clever and knows instinctively how to brighten the day of staff with puns and well-placed jokes. You know that you have come to a place that celebrates LIFE when you come to Christopher House and see Erik’s smile and hear his laugh. He is the perfect person to help quell and disarm the fear and uncertainty that accompany patients and families when they arrive. And he does it all while working in a fish bowl that can also be a pressure cooker!
It’s impossible to select one story for Erik because his unique set of talents means that new stories are constantly being generated. Erik’s gift of presence in his position helps keep the staff and families at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House on an even keel during the course of his shifts. Ask any person on staff and they will tell you that they have a better, lighter, and more satisfying day when Erik’s shift intersects with theirs.
We have a fireplace in the living room at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House where people can warm themselves on cold days. When Erik is here, the hearth moves over to the Unit Clerk desk, and people are warmed by his beautiful, welcoming spirit. Erik makes us proud to be part of the Hospice Austin team!
Thank you, Erik, for shining your beautiful light of Respect, Innovation, Gratitude, Honesty, Teamwork…and so much more…onto everyone you meet!