This week, I really got a taste for how important community partnerships are for GBMC. We have the opportunity to make quite an impact with the many things we do to help our neighbors as well as our own employees.
On Thursday I was fortunate enough to enjoy some time outdoors while touring the opening day of the GBMC Farmers’ Market. Thanks to Mike Forthman and Keith Sappington, who explained the genesis of the market, I had the opportunity to stop by and meet with some of the local vendors who brought their goods to our campus. I really got a sense for the importance of supporting our local community while also promoting healthy eating by bringing wholesome food right to our employees.
Keith explained that by providing our staff, as well as the local community, with the opportunity to buy local meat and produce, we are helping to reduce our carbon footprint. Events such as this really support GBMC’s vision for creating a healthy community by focusing on what people need to stay healthy, or become healthier. In this new era of healthcare, we’re focusing more on prevention and long term wellbeing, and eating nutritious foods certainly plays a major part in maintaining health.
Check out this short video to get a true taste for what the GBMC Farmers’ Market is all about: http://vimeo.com/24613209
Then, this morning, GBMC hosted the quarterly Towson 4 Facilities Managers Meeting which included facilities executives and managers from St. Joseph's Medical Center, Sheppard Pratt Hospital, Towson University and GBMC. Dan Tesch and Mike Forthman provided an overview and gave tours of our Maryland Region III Alternative Care Site (ACS) and Training Center at GBMC, which is located in the former South Chapman Gym.
The intent was to share with them the capabilities of the ACS should an emergent situation like a natural disaster or other major catastrophic events develop in which any of the Towson 4 would need surge capacity. The ACS is equipped to hold upwards of 100 patients in an emergency situation and also has a back up command center for GBMC. The site is also used as a training center for Emergency Management skill building by GBMC staff as well as members of Region III.
We’ve been thinking a lot about how to prepare for such major events and how to care for mass casualties, especially in the wake of the devastating tornadoes in the Midwest over recent months. The tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri, devastating that community’s hospital, certainly served as a wake-up call. When I heard about this tragic event, I couldn’t help but internalize it – what if this happened at GBMC or to one of our neighboring hospitals? Would we be ready to spring into action to help all those people in need? I believe the answer is yes. In fact, back in November 2010, I attended the signing of the Baltimore County Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – an agreement between GBMC and six other local healthcare and educational institutions that states, in the event of a community disaster we will be able to come together to provide life-saving medical care to all those affected. This is a prime example of community partnership forged for the benefit of the people who live here.
Finally, I would like to extend my congratulations and gratitude to internal medicine physician Dr. Hmu Minn, the recipient of this year’s Compassionate Caregiver Award, which I had the pleasure of presenting on June 1st.
Dr. Minn was recognized for going above and beyond in the care of his patients and in the mentoring of GBMC’s medical residents. I believe this statement, which was part of the nomination letter submitted by 30 GBMC residents, really sums up the qualities that Dr. Minn brings to his profession:
“No one else but the people he has touched would really know his kindness and commitment he has towards all the residents and patients who come his way. Dr. Minn is an example of humility and compassion when it comes to patient care.”
I’d also like to congratulate and thank our staff members who were recognized for Honorable Mention for this year’s Compassionate Caregiver Award:
Elizabeth Bishai - Gilchrist Hospice Care volunteer, Abby Dentry, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in GBMC’s NICU, Linda Henderson, RN, Clinical Program Manager, Acute Care for the Elderly Unit and Debbie Johnston, Clinical Social Worker, Women’s Services.
All of you exemplifying the kind of expert, compassionate care that we would all want for our own loved ones.