Thrive by IU Health

March 27, 2024

Team member is recognized for encouraging patients

IU Health Simon Cancer Center

Team member is recognized for encouraging patients

It was a patient who asked: “Have you met Pam Bradley? She’s the best.”

By TJ Banes, IU Health Senior Journalist,

Pamela “Pam” Bradley likes to say: “I love to love.” She’s one of the first faces patients see when they visit Multi-Disciplinary Oncology at IU Health Simon Cancer Center.

“You come in here scared and she makes you feel comfortable. She really does practice the IU Health Values,” said one patient. The system values include “Purpose,” - work to do good in the lives of all; “Excellence,”- do our best at all times in new ways; “Compassion,” - treat people with respect, empathy and kindness; and “Team” - count on and care for each other.

One of Bradley’s co-workers, Trena Hunt, described Bradley as “the most welcoming person in the hospital.” When Hunt started her job at IU Health she saw a prayer posted next to Bradley’s desk and she was so inspired she posted it near her desk.

The prayer reads: “Lord as I start the day, let me remember how blessed and lucky I am. Remind me to be grateful for the work I do, the people I meet, and the wage I receive. Keep me cooperative with colleagues and friendly to people I serve . . . “

What some patients don’t know about Bradley is that she has walked in their shoes. On April 5, 2022, she lost her husband of nearly 23 years. He was part of her life for 30 years and was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma cancer. He was treated in the same area of IU Health Simon Cancer Center where Bradley began working three years ago. They raised three children together, and have three grandchildren.

“It was sudden and he didn’t make it a year,” said Bradley. “I am very close with his doctor and nurse and I bring a different perspective to this role after going through it with my husband,” said Bradley. “‘I love to love’ is my favorite phrase and being here and going through what I went through I can empathize a little more. I know what the patient is feeling and the spouse is feeling.”

She’s been known to wrap her arms around patients that are nervous or upset, and giving them an extra dose of encouragement on their worst days. Bradley started at IU Health almost 27 years in neuro ICU and then moved to medical ICU doing tech work before taking on her administrative role.

“Pam encompasses what a truly engaged team member is,” said her supervisor Bill Straiton. “She enjoys what she does – that makes all the difference in the world. She is dedicated to IU Health and in doing so, brings the best with her every day. She has a personal commitment to the Simon Cancer Center patients. She has a conversations with almost everyone she serves everyday. The fact that she is aware that taking care of the patient at their first encounter with an IU Health team member sets the tone for the rest of their visit and drives her behavior.”

Bradley says she loves to put a smile on a patient’s face.

“When I worked as a tech, I was bedside and I could still make them smile but I couldn’t actively communicate with patients. In this role, I can actually see them light up. I love the attitude of my coworkers and managers. We are like a family.”



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