A Message From Focused Care's Founder

Mark McKenzie, CEO

July Founder’s Message: Don’t Forget to Stop

In health care, there are no summers off or spring break or closing up shop for the holidays. Every day requires our attention, our compassion, our extra effort to exceed the expectation of excellence – because people’s lives matter – and not just the fact of them but the quality and meaningful nature of living.

The world may view older people whose bodies no longer function as they once did, whose memories appear limited, whose days are waning – as inconsequential or not requiring consideration. But we know – we see – the value of those for whom we care every day. I know our residents leave an impression on all of us.

Because this is an emotional, physical and deeply impactful job – I encourage you – at some point in your day – to stop and give yourself some peace. Whether it’s driving home in your car, taking your lunch break in the middle of the day, or sitting on a porch watching dusk set in – I think we all need to stop and give ourselves time to hear our own breath go in and out.

I see people walking their dogs and talking on their phones. I see families sitting at a restaurant table – all on their phones – parents included! I stand in line at the grocery store behind someone who appears to be talking to himself – except he has ear buds in and is carrying on a phone conversation with someone else.  I remember when the personal computer came out and it was hailed as the answer to time management. If people could put in work hours on the computer at home – that would save them time. It seems to have saved us time for more technology.

I remember growing up in the heat of a long Texas summer – sitting on the curb waiting for my friend across the street to join me. I remember watching ants crawl into the cracks on the sidewalk. I remember the quiet that gave me time to contemplate what I was going to do that day, how I was going to make some summer money and the length of time it would take me on my bike to get to the store to buy a soda. It was quiet while I waited for my friend and I could hear myself think.

Maybe I’m getting nostalgic in the dog days of summer – but you have all been through trauma – real – not imagined. The pandemic did more than infect people with a virus – it left an aftermath for those of us who had to witness illness, isolation and death. And I fear that without giving ourselves time to stop for a minute and just think and breathe – the pain and exhaustion will continue to build up from a year or more ago and steal our oxygen.

I know all of us have personal responsibilities and some of you might think what I’m suggesting is impossible for you to do – but I encourage you nonetheless to create and embrace a peaceful silence somewhere sometime. You work incredibly hard at giving family members a peace of mind, your colleagues a moment’s peace when they need it and our residents – the peace that comes from being cared for and feeling safe.

As the heat wears on and we march toward the end of summer – please stop for a peaceful pause – you deserve it.


Mark McKenzie

Founder & CEO

Focused Post Acute Care Partners