Meet Yvonne Ruathaiwat, 2023 HPNA and HPNF Board Member

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As part of HPNF’s 25th anniversary celebrations, we’re spotlighting the 2023 HPNA and HPNF Board members. Today, we are excited to feature Yvonne Ruathaiwat, MSN, RN, GCNS-BC, NE-BC! With a passion to deliver seamless and timely access to services, Yvonne is certified as a nurse executive and case manager. In her free time, Yvonne loves to hike and visit museums when traveling.

1. How has HPNA/HPNF supported you throughout your career?

When I first started one of my leadership roles overseeing a palliative care service line, I really wanted to be immersed with an association that specializes in hospice and palliative care. Through joining HPNA, I had the opportunity to meet with many leaders and experts in the field who are passionate about what they do. Many of these leaders are now my fellow Board members. HPNA is truly a leader and provides necessary resources regarding evidence-based clinical skills and the latest policy happenings, while also supporting many research efforts.

2. What inspired you to become a Board member?

For me, I do best when I’m involved in the details and the planning, and I really wanted to understand all the ins and outs of HPNA. I was so impressed when I first went onto the website and saw all of the great work that they do. Many leaders and colleagues go to HPNA’s website as their main resource for information and updates. That inspired me to become a board member so that I can also serve. Even though I was brand new in palliative care and I didn’t have too much knowledge, I really wanted to immerse myself while also growing as a leader.

I actually started serving on the HPNF Board before HPNA because I was very interested in many of their fundraising efforts and scholarship offerings. I have some background in fundraising, so I really wanted to understand the inner workings of HPNF. I also felt like I had more skills that I would be able to contribute.

3. How do you want HPNA/HPNF to impact your patients and/or community?

The demand for hospice and palliative care, as we all know, is growing with the aging population and many of the value-based models. I think HPNA is the perfect resource to meet nurses’ needs, whether it’s someone who is interested in learning about the field, or someone who’s a seasoned nurse with 30 to 40 years of experience. HPNA’s resources are also ideal for those who are not working directly in hospice and palliative care, and even for the larger community. I’m delighted to see that we now have a mentorship program in place that provides nurses with one-on-one coaching and mentoring support so that they can also grow based on their specific needs. I do think it’s a great resource and I feel like this should be the go-to for any organizations who are considering advancing their nurses’ skills in palliative care and hospice.

4. What is your favorite part about your current job?

My favorite part is to be able to impact patient care that aligns with evidence-based practice. HPNA supports many of the efforts to utilize data and technology to drive improvement and efficiency, so that patients and families can benefit from hospice and palliative care services. We know that there is certainly a workforce shortage, and so I do think we have to be innovative. We have to do better in how we deliver and provide the care that patients and families may need.

5. What is a fun fact about yourself?

This is my 18th year as a nurse. Many moons ago when I was a nursing student, I was a hospice volunteer. I vividly remember visiting a patient at a skilled nursing facility who didn’t receive very good care from the facility staff. The experience led me to pursue my masters in geriatrics, and subsequently in leadership and operations so that I can help impact and influence delivering the best patient care possible. It’s really interesting to look back at where I’ve been and reflect on the different experiences that I’ve had.