When our little secret about the Patient Empowerment Program (PEP) gets out through word of mouth or the web, people are interested in learning more about the culture of healing we have created for our breast reconstruction patients. Because we are so proud of this wonderful nurturing environment, I am always excited to share our experiences with new audiences.
From time to time we are asked to be on different news and talk shows that provide bigger platforms for us to share the important messages about the PEP and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, PC. So, you can imagine our excitement when Dr. Feingold and I were invited on ‘The Soul Matrix’ show, hosted by Pauline Esposito and Wendy Shulman, to talk about how the mind-body connection has helped so many of our patients and their family recover from difficult circumstances.
If you have any questions about the PEP and how our male and female patients and loved ones are benefitting from it, I suggest listening to the interview (listen to the show at the bottom of this page). If you prefer the abbreviated version, here are some of the highlights from our discussion on the program.
I am always delighted to hear Drs. Feingold and Israeli describe the vision and development of the plastic surgery practice and what we now know as the PEP program. Dr. Feingold talked at length about how as a breast reconstruction surgeon he became aware that many patients who technically had a good surgical outcome were still not comfortable with themselves or even felt depressed. That’s when he and Dr. Israeli realized it was going to take more than an operation to restore someone’s sense of wholeness. And that is how the seedlings for the PEP were planted.
When I met Drs. Feingold and Israeli seven years ago, I had an increased interest in devoting my work to women and men facing mastectomy and reconstruction and a vision of an approach to medical treatment that integrated the emotional component. The doctors shared my vision - that one cannot separate the emotional and physical aspects of healing, and support is an integral part of the total healing process. And they understood the importance of providing this to their patients. So, I joined their medical team, and the rest is history!
One of my favorite things to do is share feedback from the men and women who utilize the tools offered in the Patient Empowerment Program. I think their feedback speaks volumes to the benefits our patients are experiencing.
A note from one of our breast reconstruction patients:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your warm welcoming and support. When I walked out from the first group meeting, I felt not only welcome but assured that I have a shoulder to rely on. I also would like to tell you that I spoke with someone from the Caring Team and felt reassured. You were right; it was priceless. She prepared both my husband and I with great details physically and mentally. We felt very confident that we are in good hands. We thank God that we met you and this wonder group. We are looking forward to becoming one member of this great family.”
Note from a spouse whose participation in the Spouse Breakfast meeting, after 3 years, was interrupted by a change in his work schedule:
“Not making it to men’s group feels like missing IV fluids….My spirit is dehydrated….Miss you guys a lot.”
His wife sent a note on the same day:
“I can't thank you and the doctors enough for realizing the needs of the patient's other half. You touch my heart. I can't fully express my gratitude to you, both, for having these meaningful meetings, and to see how much my husband has attached to it. You help to make him a better partner. THANK YOU!!”
And I cannot leave out the part where the doctors talk about how they have formed great relationships with their patients and their partners. Some of their proudest moments are when they pass by the Spouse Breakfast meeting in the early morning hours and are able to observe the unique camaraderie and affection among the male participants.
- Mollie Sugarman
Clinical Director, Patient Empowerment Program