eAssist 2016 Annual Summit — “I dreamed a dream”

eAssist 2016 Annual Summit — “I dreamed a dream”

It was a smooth flight into Salt Lake City from San Diego and as we circled the beautifully colored landscape and approached for the landing, my thoughts went to anticipation of the next three days events.  Would it be “just another seminar” like many of the others I had attended in my lengthy career or would it be different? Working with eAssist for the last two years and what I had been able to create in my professional and personal life was definitely life changing for me.  I wondered if other eAssisters felt the same or was I the only lucky one.

 

Up until this defining moment my world was a virtual one with eAssist.  Phone conference calls and emails through the pipeline were my world and I love being able to work from home.  What would change when I met people face to face that I had emailed and spoken to for more than two years?

 

As I entered the lobby to the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Salt Lake City I was greeted by a most friendly hotel clerk.  She immediately called me by name and checked me in graciously.  As I looked around the lobby I spotted some familiar faces of ladies of eAssist. They looked like the pictures on their email accounts.  Sandy and Melinda approached me smiling and gave me a hug.  Meeting them was as if we had known each other for a long time.  Warm and friendly, welcoming and confident, I felt at home.

 

The “meet and greet” that Thursday night was fun and exciting as we played team work games and talked and got to know each other.  There were at least sixty people in the room but it sounded like one hundred and sixty as we laughed loudly with enthusiasm.   As I went up to my room that night I was looking forward to the next day of lectures and building relationships and team bonding.  In the past the night before my lecture was a lonely night with worry about not sleeping and performance anxiety but I didn’t have any worries as I slipped into slumber looking forward to the next day.

 

We all joined for breakfast in the morning before the lectures began and we were able to partake of some delicious pastries and fruit with coffee, tea and juices.

The lectures were a variety of speaking topics and several speakers presented their own material in the way that was creative and informative for the benefit of the group.  I felt blessed to be able to speak to such a receptive group of people and to receive compliments for my work was icing on the cake.

 

That evening we all dressed up in semi-formal attire to attend the awards dinner for eAssisters who had performed above and beyond the call of duty for their regions.  Everyone sparkled like gems and looked gorgeous in their gowns.  I was so pleased to see people who work hard get the credit they deserve for their valiant efforts.  In my career I had seldom received any acknowledgement for extra efforts and it made me proud to be part of a culture that recognizes those who give it all and more.

We were treated to a special gift that night of the incredible and moving musical talent of the Weber State Alumni Singers.  They glittered and glided through the most beautiful tunes in harmony and solo with each voice an angel from heaven.

 

When they sang music from my favorite musical, Les Miserables, I couldn’t help but tear up and choke back the emotions especially when the tune “I dreamed a dream” was sung so beautifully,

 

I dreamed a dream in time gone by

When hope was high

And life worth living

I dreamed that love would never die

I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid

And dreams were made and used and wasted

There was no ransom to be paid

No song unsung

No wine untasted

But the tigers come at night

With their voices soft as thunder

As they tear your hopes apart

As they turn your dreams to shame

 

In the story, Les Miserables, Fantine, a working class French woman in 1797, is a single mother of a baby girl, who dies at the age of 28 trying to provide money to pay for the support of her child.   In poverty she sells her hair and then her teeth and in the end dies of tuberculosis.  Her child is saved by a man named Jean Val jean.

 

It was at that moment that I realized what a gift working with eAssist has been for me and is for so many others.

 

Many of the ladies(and gentlemen) of eAssist are single parents who cherish being able to work from home so that they can spend that precious and irreplaceable time with their children.  Married moms at eAssist can now be more attentive wives because they don’t face the drama and chaos of the dental office and they too can be there when their young children need them the most.  This was not available to me when I was raising my children.  Forced by unfavorable circumstances I had to leave my children in daycare because I had to drive to work.  Often I cried when I dropped them off, seeing their tiny faces pressed against the window, I prayed and dreamed that there could be another way.

 

Working at eAssist is truly a blessing for all of us for in it we have found a way to work for ourselves and our families with dignity and respect.  We have found a voice and someone to listen.  We can be our better selves and be appreciated for our contributions and good work.

eAssist is dedicated to improving the lives of their workers who in turn improve the lives of the doctors and their healthcare teams who then are able to spend more time with their patients with education and relationship building for better physical and mental health for all.

Belle DuCharme

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