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Honoring the hands that make a difference


May 7, 2018

Her hands were gnarled and worn from work, and bore the scars of injury. But as Hunter Roddey remembers them, they were “the most beautiful hands I’d ever seen – because of all they had been doing,” he said.

The hands belonged to a Novant Health team member who devoted her days to caring for patients during surgery. She stopped during her workday to participate in Blessing of the Hands, a ceremony led by people such as Roddey, a chaplain at Novant Health Matthews Medical Center. Blessing of the Hands events, which will take place across our markets during Healthcare Week, are a special chance for many of us to honor the hands that do so much good throughout our communities. 

Chaplains and volunteers pour water over a person’s hands, dry them and touch the hands with fragrant oil as they pronounce a blessing. Whether or not people practice a faith, all are welcome and included at Blessing of the Hands. The events reflect what we all know intuitively: that with our hands we have the opportunity to help, to hold, to heal.

Think about the hands that have helped all of us throughout our lives: the hands that cooked our meals, that held ours on that first scary day of school; the hands that waved goodbye as we left home, that shook ours when we accepted a job offer.

At Novant Health, we’re delivering remarkable care with the help of everyone’s hands. These hands are serving others in so many ways – from typing on a keyboard to cleaning equipment, from delivering a newborn to holding a patient’s hand during her last moments of life. We place a high value not only on delivering leading-edge care for even the most complex cases, but also on truly knowing our patients and making that care personal. It’s healthcare that’s high-tech – and high-touch. 

“It’s amazing to think of all the tasks hands do each day for the patients,” Hunter said. “Keeping things stocked in the utility rooms, keeping things clean, getting the place built, making sure the phones work. It’s important what your hands – and your heart – do in this place.”

When our hearts are in the right place, our hands follow. We are so thankful for the hands that help us in our mission to make communities healthier, one person at a time.