Tower 4 nurse inspires others to donate to Patient Assistance Support Fund in Gratitude Heals campaign

Nurse Amanda Blanc (left) and unit manager Emily Torres

(SACRAMENTO) — Amanda Blanc is, quite literally, living the dream – working in her “dream position” at her “dream hospital” of UC Davis Medical Center.

“Both being an RN, and being at Davis, have been everything that I imagined it would be,” said Blanc, who was hired in April out of Samuel Merritt University’s nursing school.

Gratitude Heals

As nurses, doctors and staff of UC Davis Health, you understand that gratitude has the power to heal.

This holiday season, consider giving back in a meaningful way through the Gratitude Heals campaign with a donation that improves and transforms the lives of colleagues, patients and community members.

The CARE Project – To enhance the health care environment and aid the healing and recovery of our patients

Patient Assistance Support Fund – To support our patients and families struggling with the financial hardship of hospitalization

Re-Igniting the Spirit of Caring Endowed Fund – To support each other in refreshing our body, mind and spirit

Child Life Program – To promote healing through art and music therapy

She has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, which made her recent experience with a patient on the floor of Tower 4 ENT/Internal Medicine even more eye-opening.

For several weeks, Blanc was the primary care nurse for a patient who was struggling with homelessness – a young adult around 30 years of age, just like Blanc.

“There’s a lot of things you learn in nursing school, care-wise, but you don’t really learn the realities of the social aspect of nursing,” Blanc said.

After bonding and connecting with this patient, Blanc wanted to do more for her and planned to purchase some basic hygiene and comfort items at the store, as her colleagues suggested she could do. But one day, she came into work and discovered the patient was ready to be discharged.

It “broke [her] heart” not being able to make that quick shopping trip, so Blanc did the only thing she could think of: she went downstairs to the ATM in the pharmacy, and gave the patient a small amount of cash for sundries.

“When we discharged her, we fixed her medically, but we didn’t really fix the systemic issue of that socioeconomic struggle that she was going through,” Blanc explained.

So she sought a way to aid other patients dealing with financial hardships. Her unit manager, Emily Torres, connected her with the Gratitude Heals campaign and the Patient Assistance Support Fund, which can help patients with a variety of necessities, ranging from electricity bills to gas money to a simple, hot meal.

Blanc took her fundraising to social media because “that’s what we do in this generation.” She shared her recent experience and asked friends and family to contribute to the fund, adding that she would match the first $250 donated in person or through Venmo.

Within three days, she had raised more than $1,000 – and eventually wrote a check for $1,435 for the fund. She was surprised and inspired by the outpouring of support.

“It made me realize it wasn’t just me; so many people wanted to share and so many people wanted to help,” Blanc said. “But sometimes they don’t know the opportunities to help.”

That’s why she is encouraging her colleagues to learn more about the variety of funds under the Gratitude Heals campaign (see sidebar).

“We have been given so much, and we have so many opportunities to give back,” she said.