Friday, May 13, 2011

The Nearly New Sale and Three Black Tie Events

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a whirlwind of gala events and dinners that celebrated excellence and recognized the spirit of community commitment. Of course, this wasn’t a typical weekend for me, and my social activities are not usually so glamorous, but when the events were all over and I had a moment to reflect back on all of the people involved, I realized just how many individuals at GBMC and in our communities give of their own time for some worthy cause.
My event-filled weekend started on Friday evening at the House Staff recognition dinner. This is truly a wonderful event because it recognizes GBMC’s residents and resident award-winners, as well as GBMC faculty members, award winning physician teachers, and those physicians who lead our residency programs. This event really spotlights a piece of our mission that doesn’t typically receive a lot of air time, which is the teaching and the preparation of the next generation of doctors and healthcare providers. The focus of all of the individuals who presented at this reception, including Dr. Mark Ellerkmann, chairman of GBMC’s graduate education committee, Dr. John Saunders, Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Hal Tucker, our Chief of Staff, was that the opportunity to mentor and teach our future doctors is what helps keep all of our attending physicians in the learning mode. It’s really a win-win for all – our residents and our attending physicians. GBMC is fortunate to have many faculty members who are so giving of their time, volunteering to teach our residents to ensure better care for our community in the future. 
On Saturday night, I had the opportunity to attend another black tie event with my wife, Tracey, at Baltimore Centerstage’s gala as guests of GBMC’s incoming Chairman of the Board, Harry Johnson. The event, which benefits the theater’s artistic and education programs, demonstrates how valuable arts programs are in the Baltimore community and the importance of community support.
I had Sunday off from galas and events but was right back in the saddle on Monday night at my third black tie event in four nights as one of the hosts for the Daily Record’s Top 100 Women in Maryland event.  GBMC was the Circle of Excellence sponsor for this year’s event and I had the honor of presenting the Circle of Excellence winners with their awards. This inspiring event recognizes Maryland women who are making an impact through their leadership, community service and mentoring. 
You can see a trend in all of the events I attended – recognizing those in our community who make an indelible impact in the lives of others. So, I would certainly be remiss if I didn’t tell you about what I did last Friday afternoon, before my weekend of galas even began. On this beautiful spring day, I walked up to Farmhouse Hill to GBMC’s Nearly New sale. It was amazing to me just how many hours so many of our volunteers put into creating this wonderful event. Not only does this sale benefit the programs and services right here at the hospital, but I realized that there are so many members of our community who also truly benefit from being able to buy a wide array of items at this sale.
I too benefitted from the many gems that can be found at this bi-annual sale! I picked up some great jazz CD’s and then came across one of my favorite movies, October Sky.( It’s a great movie about young men who attempt to launch their own rocket after the launch of Sputnik in 1957. But what really draws me to the film is how the young men go through a series of failures, learn from their mistakes, test, make changes and then try again, until they achieved success. This cycle of learning, Plan-Do-Study-Act, also called the Shewhart cycle, is a key tool of continuous improvement. We in healthcare must fully commit ourselves to this spirit of testing, learning, and continuous improvement.)
Oh, and while at the Nearly New sale I also purchased the book, The Complete Idiots Guide to Being Psychicso watch out everyone!
But seriously, we work and live among some truly amazing and giving individuals both at GBMC and in our own communities. I was proud to be among all of these great people and hope that their giving spirits inspire others to continue down the path of volunteerism and philanthropy.

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