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A Celebration of Family - In The Workplace

Parents, siblings and spouses: They reflect a close-knit environment

In the Midwest, families are very important – including families within our academic medical center.

There are dozens of them here. Of the 13,000 people who comprise The University of Kansas Health System, University of Kansas Medical Center and The University of Kansas Physicians, it seems everyone knows someone related to someone else.

In most companies, families in the workplace can lead to complications. But at our academic medical center, depending on the circumstances, they can have a positive effect. We feel they reflect our close-knit environment.

Healthcare invites a warm, supportive atmosphere. Family members working in that setting can strengthen the sense of closeness all staff – not just those who are related – feel toward each other and toward their patients, she said.

Relatives in the workplace are common at The University of Kansas HospitalRelatives can also bring out the best in each other. Ashley Huppe, MD, is a radiology resident. Her father, Marc Inciardi, MD, is a breast radiologist for The University of Kansas Health System, and her sister Erin Inciardi, RN, works on Medical-Surgical ICU (Unit 61).

"We all learn from each other quite a bit," Huppe said. She and her father have devised research projects over the dinner table. And Huppe and her sister have an appreciation for each other's roles in the health system, making them each better caregivers.

"We're able to communicate less formally and more often," Huppe said. "We are constantly talking about work outside of the hospital, so I have serious respect for what nurses do – and vice versa."

Kristy and Michael Blomquist, both RNs, married in 2007 after meeting at the health system. They now work on separate intensive care units – Medical-Surgical ICU (Unit 61) and Medical ICU (Unit 65).

Whether their young children follow Mom and Dad into healthcare is anyone's guess, but if they do, Mike hopes they will join them at the hospital.

"I'm sure they would get the same rewards Kristy and I do – that satisfaction of helping other people," he said.

After all, nursing runs in their blood.

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