Thursday, June 30, 2022

High Schoolers Stepping Up to Help Those in Need

The struggle in war-torn Ukraine continues, and it has clearly created a major humanitarian crisis leading to a lack of access to medication for chronically and seriously ill patients across that nation. 

This past May, one of our colleagues, Yana Karp, who is originally from Ukraine and has worked as a GBMC sonographer for the last 25 years, started a fundraiser, to bring medicine to her home country to help mothers and families. Currently, the campaign, with help from our Marketing and Philanthropy Department, has raised approximately $9,000. For more on Yana’s story and to donate, please visit here!

Earlier this month, Yana’s efforts were highlighted in a Baltimore Sun article, which caught the attention of the Dulaney High School Key Club, led by Morry Wexler, and Matt Lovett, the Faculty Advisor for the Club. Mr. Lovett read the article highlighting the initiative, and the club decided to donate the proceeds of their recent car wash to support our effort to bring medicine to Ukrainian mothers and families. 

I want to thank the Dulaney High School Key Club members, and their families, for donating $705 to our cause and to all of you who have provided financial support to this important initiative. You are all truly making a difference!

Making the Honor Roll
Recently, GBMC was recognized on the 2022 Honor Roll for the Executive Alliance - A Catalyst for Women Leaders in Maryland. This designation recognizes publicly traded companies headquartered in Maryland and the largest hospitals, non-profits and colleges and universities that employ women in at least 20 percent of their executive leadership roles and have women in at least 20 percent of their board of director seats. At GBMC, 75% of the executive leadership positions are held by women and 40% of our Board positions are held by women.  Please join me in thanking our women leaders for helping to move us toward our vision every day.

Happy Fourth of July!!!
I want to take a moment and wish you all a happy and safe Fourth of July. The Independence Day holiday celebrates the birthday of our great country…the land of the free and the home of the brave. I wish you a safe, happy, and healthy time with your loved ones as we celebrate this July 4th.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Stepping Down After More Than THREE Decades of Service

Over the last few days, we have been celebrating the outstanding career and 31 years of service of Dr. Timothy F. Doran, as a pediatrician and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at GBMC.

I’ve known Dr. Doran since my arrival at GBMC, and we have a few things in common. We both came up through the academic general pediatric training ranks and both came to Maryland from Massachusetts.  

Dr. Doran started at GBMC in 1991 as a pediatrician and eventually was named as Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics eight years later. Under his leadership, GBMC created one of the most effective pediatric units in the area by placing the pediatric inpatient unit and pediatric emergency department in the same space. Having this unique working environment has allowed our pediatric staff to keep their skills sharp, and it has also allowed us to improve continuity of care for the children served.  

As part of the GBMC HealthPartners Pediatric Group, Dr. Doran has provided primary care for several thousand children and even some children of his original patients. Tim has been a phenomenal advocate for children in our region. A few years ago, when another medical center closed its pediatric department and eliminated their child abuse program, Dr. Doran immediately worked with our team to form a child protection team at GBMC to fill the gap.  

During his tenure, Dr. Doran has helped our organization strive in several other ways. He has been a big part of the success of our continuing medical education program and pediatric grand rounds. He has served as the medical director for Gilchrist Kids, our pediatric hospice. Tim has served as a board member, and chair, of the Gilchrist Center Baltimore.  He has also held numerous leadership roles outside of our healthcare system. Tim served as the president of the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has received many awards, including Maryland Pediatrician of the Year.

Dr. Doran is beloved by his patients, colleagues, and the community. Even though we will miss him as a clinician we are still fortunate to have him serve GBMC Healthcare as the new Chair of the Gilchrist Board of Directors.  

Please join me in thanking Dr. Doran for all that he has done for GBMC, our patients and their families, and for the community!

Thank You!!!
This past Sunday, I ran in our 34th annual Father’s Day 5K. As always, it was great to see so many “graduates” of our NICU and their parents, along with numerous other people from the community, including GBMC staff, come out and participate.

For more than 30 years, this event has been helping to raise funds for GBMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). All proceeds go toward acquiring specialized equipment, providing quality facilities, and hiring clinical staff to continue delivering outstanding care.  

Every day, moms and dads turn to GBMC’s highly trained healthcare professionals to care for their sick or premature babies because we provide the same care that we would want for our own loved ones.  

I want to thank the more than 600 participants who helped raise more than $101,000. Let me also thank the GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary and all the amazing volunteers who made this event happen as well as GBMC’s NICU doctors, nurses, technicians, and others who dedicate their lives to the health of babies. I am grateful for your ardent commitment to our NICU.

Celebrating Our Cancer Survivors
Earlier this month, we celebrated National Cancer Survivor Day in a unique way, as we are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s alternative option maintained the spirit of this important event while ensuring the health and safety of our community.

As a substitute to our annual in-person cancer survivorship celebration, Oncology Support Services, at our Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute, presented GBMC Cancer Survivors with a “Celebration to Go” kit. This year’s theme was Lemons, representing a “Zest for Life.”

More than 350 kits, which included a gourmet meal, decorations, and fresh flowers, were distributed to our survivors. A caravan of survivors drove up to Farmhouse Hill to receive their kits while our Berman Cancer Institute staff greeted and cheered them on! 

For 30 years, our event has celebrated cancer survivors and their families, friends, and caregivers, and it is our way to honor them for their courage and support them in their recovery. This day is truly all about celebrating life.

I want to express my gratitude to Felicity Kirby, RN, BSN, OCN, our Survivorship Coordinator, and all those involved in putting together this year’s celebration and to congratulate all survivors, their families, and our caregivers!

Way to go Jim!
Hats off to Jim Keyzer, CHFM, our Director of Facilities, who recently achieved the status of senior member of the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association (AHA).

This is a truly notable accomplishment, and Jim now belongs to a special group of “talented and experienced colleagues,” who share his dedication to “advancing the profession.” The ASHE represents more than 8,400 facilities managers, engineers, clinical engineering/medical equipment managers, and professionals in the fields of health care design, construction, and safety. 

Jim and his team do a phenomenal job in maintaining our facilities. His knowledge about heating, plumbing, electrical works, and everything to do with building maintenance is remarkable.

Kudos Jim, on this well-deserved recognition!

The Baltimore Jewish Times recently announced its list of “Best of Jewish Baltimore.” GBMC was named “Best ER/Hospital” and “Best Vein Clinic” by their readers. I am thankful for the marvelous validation we receive from the Jewish community and for their trust in GBMC to address their healthcare needs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

What are your stakeholder requirements? How do you know if you are meeting them?

GBMC managers do an excellent job of moving us closer to our vision, everyday. We make the most progress when we live our leadership system. We are getting very good at the first step – reviewing the “why” of what we do, our mission, vision and four aims. The next step is to ask ourselves what those who we are serving need. In other words, what are our stakeholder requirements?

As an example, the nursing staff is one of our Pharmacy’s stakeholders. The role of a nurse is very complex. A nurse has many things to do to assure that we are moving toward our vision in the care of patients. One of the nurses’ needs is to always have medications available when patients need them. Our Pharmacy is an industry leader in having reduced “missing medications” to close to zero. How did they do this? They did it by studying every defect and improving their standard designs in verifying medication orders and in stocking medications on the floor through the use of our Lean Management System. The leaders of the Pharmacy also have a robust audit process for making sure the standard work is followed.

The first tenet of high reliability (what should happen, happens and what should not happen, doesn’t) is having a preoccupation with failure. This means that the leader does not assume that everything will go right. The leader knows that especially in a time of high worker turnover in a tightly coupled complex system, things will sometimes go wrong, and the leader knows that he or she must stay vigilant and not assume that everything is ok. When things don’t go right, it is often because we have created standard work, but it is not being followed. When this is the case, the leader is often running around fixing things that would be fixed if only the standard work was followed.

So, every manager should ask him or herself “what are my stakeholder requirements and how do I know we are meeting them?” I am so grateful for everyone’s efforts, and this will move us even faster toward our vision!

Let’s Do This!!!
We have a little more than one week until we reach the nominations deadline for the 600 spots on this year’s Baltimore magazine Top Doctors list. 

The more physicians who participate, the higher the chances that an institution will be well-represented on the winner's list. Nominations will close on Friday, June 24!

Docs, please vote for the colleagues you most respect! The survey is found here.

Go on a walk or a run for a great cause!
This Sunday, June 19, we’re holding our annual Father’s Day 5K and 1 mile Fun Walk with both in-person (online registration for in person is closing on Saturday at noon) and virtual options, to benefit our hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  

Our NICU team provides complex and compassionate care for newborns. We are fortunate to have a fabulous NICU with excellent clinicians and cutting-edge equipment. The equipment and staffing required to provide the care for our sick or premature babies is expensive and the funds raised from our annual Father’s Day 5K help to defray these costs. 

GBMC gets remarkable assistance from the community because we are known as the best place to have a baby in our region. We are incredibly grateful for the sponsors of this event and for all who participate.

Please support this year’s event and consider walking a mile or running a 5K. Encourage your family to join you! Visit for further details and remember that your support will directly benefit the critically ill and premature babies cared for annually in GBMC’s NICU. Thank you!

…also, Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers in our GBMC family!

Juneteenth: Freedom Day 
On Sunday, we will recognize Juneteenth and celebrate a critical moment in African American history. This is the day when, in 1865, enslaved people in Texas finally learned that they were free, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

This holiday is not just a day for celebration in our nation. It’s a time to reflect on how the injustices of the past reach into today. It is also an opportunity for us to make a commitment to do all we can to combat racism, hatred and inhumanity.

GBMC HealthCare will continue to embrace our diversity. As we drive toward our vision of providing every patient, every time, the care that we would want for our own loved ones, I hope that you all will join me in commemorating Juneteenth.

Friday, June 10, 2022

The Construction is Progressing

It has been a few months since the last Promise Project update, and I am pleased to let you know that we are still on schedule with the construction of the three-story inpatient addition, parking garage, and the Sandra R. Berman Pavilion.

The major highlight is that the excavation of the new parking garage is underway and will continue throughout the summer with the goal of getting down to the stable soil and bedrock. This will enable us to start the site preparation for foundations and footings. Over the next several weeks staff and visitors will also notice removal of trees and existing plantings; however, we have an extensive landscaping plan to continue the natural beauty of our campus as we build these new structures.

With regards to the Three-Story Inpatient Facility, (Floors 3, 4, and 5) here are some updates and anticipated timelines:
--Framing for the flooring and decking continues
--4th Floor slab pour will be complete by the end of this month
--5th Floor framing and slabs will be completed by August 1, 2022
--The tower crane will be removed in September 2022
--The Building will be enclosed by October 1, 2022

The excavation for the garage is also the starting point of the construction of the Sandra R. Berman Pavilion. When the excavation is finished, another tower crane will be built this fall to do all the heavy lifting of key materials on this site.

Our goal is to have a topping off ceremony (when the last beam is placed atop a structure during its construction) later this summer to commemorate our progress on the three-story addition. Stay tuned for more on that next month. For additional updates on our progress, please visit here.

Celebrating Pride Month
This is Pride Month, and we are celebrating and honoring our LGBTQIA+ teammates and members of the community.

We are celebrating Pride month across our system with our Greater Pride Employee Resource Group hosting events to commemorate the ongoing pursuit of equal justice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community and celebrate their accomplishments. Employees can find details about Pride month events on the Infoweb, via the Pulse enewsletter and through broadcast email.

GBMC is committed to being a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization. I thank our LGBTQIA+ colleagues for all that they do to help us move toward our vision. 

Nice job!!
Congratulations to all members of the GBMC Family who had either their children or grandchildren graduate high school or college this year. And congratulations to the members of our staff who were graduating themselves!

Friday, June 3, 2022

GBMC is the Best Maternity Hospital in Our Region

GBMC has been recognized as one of America’s Best Maternity Hospitals 2022 by Newsweek! This prestigious recognition was given to only six Maryland hospitals, and GBMC is 1 of 3 in the state to receive a designation as a five-ribbon hospital. Based on medical key performance indicators and patient survey results, 350 hospitals in the United States were selected. As "the Baby Hospital" serving Marylanders for the past 55 years, this is a true honor and reflection of why so many families choose to start their journey here.

I am also happy to report we have again been awarded the Joint Commission Advanced Certification in Perinatal Care! This is the second time we have achieved this recognition, and it comes on the heels of an onsite review earlier this year.

The Joint Commission’s perinatal care core performance measures for managing and monitoring aspects of perinatal care are critical to improving and maintaining the health of newborns and their mothers. Joint Commission standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The reviewers also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

Back in 2020, we were the first hospital in the state to earn the Joint Commission Advanced Certification in Perinatal Care. This re-certification means patients can continue to expect integrated, coordinated, patient-centered care through their pregnancy and childbirth. Throughout our history, GBMC has been known as the best place in the area to have a baby, and this re-certification is further evidence of our excellence. Let me thank and congratulate Victor Khouzami, MD, Chair of Obstetrics; Jodie Bell, MSN, IBCLC, Assistant Director of Women’s & Children’s Services, and their entire team for this fabulous achievement.

And yet another horrific event
This past Wednesday, we were saddened to hear about another senseless act of gun violence –  this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was deeply distressing as multiple people in a medical office building were killed by a gunman. To their loved ones and colleagues, we grieve with you and offer our sincere condolences.

This tragedy follows the shootings over the last month at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas; a grocery store in Buffalo, New York; and a church in Laguna Woods, California. As Americans, we must unite and act to prevent further acts of gun violence. We must communicate to our elected officials that we need tougher gun control legislation, support for gun violence intervention programs and access to programs that will offer help for those who are in an emotional or mental health crisis. I think President Biden said it best during his recent speech to the nation: “The issue we face is one of conscience and common sense.” Today, as we highlight National Gun Violence Awareness Day, let’s think about ways we can act to make our communities safer.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Staying Safe During Your Summer Vacation

This coming weekend is the unofficial start of the summer travel season. 

This year we have fewer pandemic restrictions than last year, but there are steps we should still consider to keep ourselves healthy so we can enjoy our break. 

  1. Stay up to date with your vaccinations: If you are 50 years of age or older, or if you are immunocompromised, get a second booster. 
  2. Consider wearing a mask when in a public place, especially indoors: Masks reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, even the common cold. 
  3. Wash your hands, especially before eating: This is particularly helpful to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses that cause gastrointestinal illness.
  4. If you do test positive for Covid-19: Contact your primary health care provider. You may be a candidate for the oral medication, Paxlovid, to further reduce your chance of serious illness.

Again, the science shows that the most protection against COVID comes from being fully vaccinated before you embark on your vacation. So, as we are heading to see family, to the beaches or to the pool, please get vaccinated or boosted, mask up indoors, stay well and enjoy your summer trips! 

Let us Honor Our Heroes 

So, while many of us are heading out to have fun, let’s not forget that this weekend we also commemorate Memorial Day — the day we remember those who have sacrificed their lives to keep us free.

GBMC HealthCare is fortunate to have many veterans in all three of our worksystems. Let’s use this holiday as an opportunity to thank them for their service. 

Our Thoughts Are With Uvalde

Earlier this week, we were all struck by the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 21 people, including 19 children, were taken by a gunman. This comes on the heels of 14 men and women killed in a shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY. Unfortunately, acts of violence are all too common in the United States. We grieve for the families and loved ones impacted by senseless violence. As we navigate these emotionally challenging times, I want to remind our GBMC HealthCare system employees about their access to Carebridge, which offers resources for support, guidance and counseling if you are struggling to process this event and others like it. Information on accessing Carebridge is available on the Infoweb.

Friday, May 20, 2022

A New Leader Gives Us Her Assessment

GBMC committed to using continuous quality improvement as its business model in 2010. We have made a lot of progress in improving health outcomes and the care experience since then. We have also driven out waste by designing standard work and deploying it, and we have created a more joyful work environment and made our people measurably safer on the job. 

When a new leader joins us from another organization, it’s a great opportunity to see what the new leader thinks about the status of our improvement culture.  

So, this week I asked Barbara Smith Peace, MBA, MPH, BSN, RN, LSSGB, our new Director of Quality and Patient Safety, to give us her take on GBMC in the area of quality and patient safety since she joined us a couple of months ago. 

Before arriving at GBMC, Barbara served as the Director of Quality at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas where she led quality, patient safety, accreditation, and improvement and served as the Program Director helping the hospital achieve Magnet designation. She started her career as a clinical research coordinator working in Arusha, Tanzania, which inspired her to pursue a career in healthcare.   

You joined GBMC approximately two months ago. Since then, what have you learned about us when it comes to quality and patient safety? 
When it comes to quality and patient safety at GBMC, I have been consistently impressed by the degree of engagement and ownership I have witnessed in so many areas on so many levels.  To name just a few, I see: physicians actively leading quality efforts to improve both hospital acquired conditions and outcomes for diabetic patients; nurses and techs working collaboratively to reduce falls, pressure injuries and infections; security and support services actively partnering with other departments to provide patient care; and robust processes to promote safety in both the laboratory and pharmacy. At GBMC, the vision is real – quality and patient safety are not foreign concepts. Instead, all staff members are making a concerted effort to treat every patient as their loved one by reducing harm and improving the patient experience, and I find that both commendable and exciting. 

Compared to your previous places of employment, what are a few things you noticed that we’re doing really well and what areas have you identified that need some improvement?  
GBMC does a great job of using and sharing data. This is especially evident in the use of the Lean Management System – dashboards are visible, they are discussed frequently, and leaders can easily speak to the metrics. This has not always been my experience, so I’m proud to work for an organization that is transparent with its data sharing. That said, we can enhance this transparency by ‘pushing’ our outcome and infection prevention data to unit-level leadership; staff and unit-level leaders can better manage what is measured if they have easy access to it. My hope is that we can work closely with our Epic partners to improve our quality dashboards to bring this transparency to the unit level.  

What are some other initiatives that you and your leader, Carolyn L. Candiello, MA, CPHRM, Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety, are currently working on that you would like to share?
Carolyn and I are working on a few initiatives to celebrate the quality and patient safety work being conducted at GBMC. We will be publishing new issues of Quality Time, our department newsletter, with a plan to highlight unit-level work, recognize staff members for high-quality care, spotlight shared learning opportunities from recent safety events, and build on our culture of reporting. We will continue to share Great Save stories, and we are planning on ways to celebrate and recognize units when they significantly improve their quality metrics. Staff members are committed to quality and patient safety at GBMC, so we look forward to both supporting them and celebrating their work!  

What are some of your own professional goals, moving forward? 
As a nurse, I love to learn and grow, which is why I have enjoyed my year-long director fellowship with the American Organization for Nursing Leadership. After I complete the fellowship in June, one of my short-term professional goals is to become a certified professional in healthcare quality. I am excited to be part of the GBMC family, so a more long-term goal, I look forward to working collaboratively and building solid relationships as we continue to improve patient care. This professional goal stems from my career-long commitment to improving healthcare. Early in my career, I served as a clinical research coordinator in Tanzania, Africa, and it was during that time that I realized I wanted to dedicate my professional life to quality and patient safety. As such, when I think about my goals, I reflect on my favorite Tanzanian saying: “if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” So, in the upcoming months and years, I look forward to putting in the work, meeting people, asking questions, learning, and sharing because together, I know we can go far! 

Thank you Barbara for your insight and welcome to GBMC!