(Lorraine) helped her staff address their challenges, and recognize their joys, in taking care of patients and their families...and the necessity of taking care of each other.”
Dr. Lorraine Dickey was a leader in the global kindness in health care movement. She tragically died on Sunday August 28, 2022. The notice of her service is here.
I was lucky enough to meet Lorraine in Melbourne in 2019 at the Gathering of Kindness in Australia. We sat on a panel together at a pop-up event in the cafeteria at the hospital in Sale.
I’ve come to realize we will never really care well for patients until we in the health care professions learn to value and care for each other. -Dr. Lorraine Dickey
Both Lorraine and I believed in the power of storytelling. After a catastrophic skiing accident in 2011, she changed course from being a full-time Neonatologist to running The Narrative Initiative with her colleague Vivian Foulke. She and Vivian also partnered with their dear friend Dr. Cath Crock to host three years of the Gathering of Kindness USA.
Lorraine Dickey was a straight-shooting, clear and passionate advocate for physician and patient wellness and communication. I attended a session she held for physicians at the children’s hospital, where she created a safe setting to guide the participants to write short stories about challenging situations. She and Vivian always brought colourful paper cranes to their workshops, which added beauty and creativity to their work.
Lorraine left a legacy of words, including this quote which spoke to her patient experience after her ski accident.
What we as humans seek from our health care relationships is help in alleviating our pain and suffering…not necessarily absolute relief from them. It is this feeling of being “cared for” that we need the most… -Dr. Lorraine Dickey
She also had a TEDx talk and wrote and spoke about kindness in health care. It was an honour to know Lorraine and she will be terribly missed by family, friends and colleagues. Her death is a huge loss for the kindness in health care movement.
Please visit these links to find out more about Lorraine’s remarkable life's work.