Monday, October 18, 2010

Reflecting on Our History

I spent a lot of time this weekend emptying boxes brought into our new home in Roland Park by the movers last week. We love the house and the neighborhood.....but I could do without the work of finding a place for all of our "stuff" and wondering why we brought a lot of it with us from Massachusetts in the first place. How many flower vases could we ever use, anyway? I must have unwrapped at least 20 of them yesterday.

One of the reasons why unpacking is taking me so long is that I am reminiscing as I go. You see I am finding things that were buried in our last house probably since the last time we moved. (I still haven't found my set of 1960 Topps baseball cards that my Mom swears she did not throw away.) I re-read some notes that my wife had sent me while we were dating; I found the certificates that my children received when they passed toddler swimming lessons; I again scrutinized my certificate from the American Board of Pediatrics; and I marveled at all of my wife's cookie baking paraphernalia (She has always amazed me at how good a baker she is, especially around the holidays.) I found myself reflecting on our family's history, with all of the good things and the challenges and was reminded about what was most precious. Remembering one's history is important so that the precious can be protected.

Last week, I met with members of the Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat) Department. We are in the midst of a search for a new Chairman for ENT. Dr. James Kelly has decided to retire, after a long and illustrious tenure leading the physicians and growing the services to better serve the community. The physicians wanted to meet with me, to assure that the health system would hold on to what was precious in their department. They reminded me of the history of the founding of GBMC by the coming together of the The Hospital for the Women of Maryland, of Baltimore City and Presbyterian Eye, Ear and Throat Charity Hospital.

Julian Chisholm MD, a noted Civil War surgeon, had begun the Presbyterian Hospital to serve patients with eye and ENT diseases. Through its existence until 1965, this wonderful specialty hospital had welcomed well-trained physicians from the community and gave excellent care in a spirit of collegiality. Since the creation of GBMC in 1965, the Otolaryngology Department has continued to thrive by building on this wonderful history. In fact, GBMC may have the largest ENT service of any community hospital in the country! From general ENT care, to head and neck surgery, and now to our cochlear implant program, there is much that is precious and we must reflect on our history to not lose sight of this. I am grateful for all of our Otolaryngologists, our nurses, our audiologists, our speech and language pathologists, and all the rest of the team giving care to our patients. We will not lose what is precious.

I love to eat (I am fighting to not gain back the weight I lost by staying on an exercise regimen; my schedule has a lot of early morning and late evening meetings) so when I was asked by Stacey McGreevy to be a judge in our Chili Cook-off to kick-off our United Way campaign, I couldn't say no. So last week, I and the other judges tasted 10 different contestants' chili recipes. They were all so good it was hard to pick a winner. Please give as you can to the campaign, the United Way helps so many worthy organizations that cannot serve those in need without our help. Also, please thank Stacey and her Committee!

A shout out to Allison Habas MD, Lisa Griffee and all of our wonderful CPOE Team! The implementation is going very well so far. Our patients are safer and our staff will be doing so much less rework when our implementation is finished next spring.

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