Healthcare Heroes: Jessica Ackermann

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As a nurse for geriatric patients, she offers a host of expertise. But according to the families who have worked with Jessica Ackermann, she delivers it with a personal, caring touch that can make all the difference in the world.

Working with elderly patients and their families has become Jessica Ackermann's specialty. And while it can be emotionally taxing, she loves it.

"I feel bonded to them," Ackermann said. "I'm their medical provider, but I'm also in it with them, in this journey with them. I'm trying to guide them through this really difficult time, and it's really just a privilege for me."

As an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Jessica brings medical care to the home of patients so they don't have to travel to doctors' offices, hospitals or the emergency room as often.

It's a huge weight lifted off the shoulders of sons and daughters who manage healthcare for their parents like Annette Mente.

Her mother was a patient of Jessica's

"I  think of the moments when she would come to our house and it would always start as she would drive up in garage and said 'hi' in a beautiful, sweet voice," Mente said. "Everybody talks about the system is broken but really what is holding the system together to me are the incredible caregivers like Jessica."
Just hours before Annette's mom died earlier this year, she just knew something was wrong.

Jessica was off duty that day, with her 5-year-old son Xylem at his swim lesson, but she still called.

"We were all confused about what to do and we were just about to call hospice when the phone rang and it was Jessica and she said, 'Hi Annette,' the voice, the calming voice," Mente said.

As the two know, it's hard to say goodbye, but Jessica was able to help Annette through it and appreciate the memory of Mrs. Mente.

"I feel her spirit at home and all around us and one of my friends said be prepared when mom passes she'll be even closer to you because she'll be in your heart, and that's how I feel."

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