Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Saving Lives and Leaving Great Impressions

Last week, we had the formal grand opening of our new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Dr. Timothy Doran, our Chair of Pediatrics, also shared with me an email from grateful parents of babies who were recent patients in our NICU. The email reminded me that I am very fortunate to be the CEO of the GBMC HealthCare system. I get so many wonderful letters, emails, or thank you cards about members of the GBMC family who do marvelous things for our patients. The family had twins, but unfortunately each baby required special care. Happily, after almost eight weeks in the NICU, mom and dad have both babies at home.

Here is an excerpt from a letter I received this week: 
I never in my wildest dreams would have guessed just how big of a role the NICU would play in our lives. When you become pregnant, you imagine a chubby little bouncing baby, healthy as can be. You don’t ever expect that your baby (or babies) will need any extra help after they’re born. When I was told that my babies were going to the NICU, I was sad of course, but I felt content knowing that my little ones were in the best hands possible. We had met with Dr. Pane before they were born, and we trusted her and knew that the team upstairs were more than capable and knowledgeable. I didn’t realize just how much help we would be getting from the GBMC NICU staff. I didn’t realize just how much they had to offer and just how much they could do to help not only these tiny babies, but us parents, too…

I want to thank every single doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, student, tech, secretary, respiratory therapist, lactation consultant, milk donor, social worker, speech pathologist, volunteer, and even housekeeper that we have had the joy of crossing paths with.

“Thank you” doesn’t even cut it when it comes to how completely grateful I am, but here it goes anyway: Thank you for your knowledge, compassion, understanding, and empathy.

Thank you for always asking how we’re doing, for explaining things in ways we can understand, for answering our questions, for taking our concerns and suggestions seriously and even implementing them in treatment, for always making sure we had everything we needed, and for being a shoulder to cry on/someone we could vent to.

I thank God, every day for the individuals that saved my baby and I thank modern technology and medicine that gives you all the ability to do what you do. I don’t know how you all do it, but I can tell that every single one of you is passionate about these tiny fragile babies and their families.

There will always be a place in our hearts for every single person that we’ve grown to know and love. God bless all of you, and thank you a million times over. ❤️”

Over the last eight years, we’ve been working hard to drive towards our vision. In 2010, we made a clear decision that we would become the healthcare system where everyone, every time, got the care we would want for our own loved ones. Our vision statement talks about physicians leading teams to deliver this. We have had a dialogue among us in the GBMC family that we want the best health outcome and the best care experience with the least waste of time and money, and with the most joy for those providing the care. Our vision is about a relationship between a physician, his or her team, and a patient. It is about a promise to that patient to work with him or her to maximize his or her health. It is about having the time to reflect on patients’ health between visits, to make sure that they are getting what the evidence says will keep them well.

The letter above is a great example of teamwork and rallying around a patient and her family! We need to continue our work to make this happen for every patient, every time. I am very grateful for all the nurses and technicians that this patient thanked and Dr. Maria Pane for exemplifying the kind of expert, compassionate care that we would all want for our own loved ones. I know how hard their work is and I am very, very grateful to them for not forgetting why they do what they do. Our NICU team is moving us closer to our vision. Let me add my thanks to all our GBMC colleagues who are moving us closer every day to our vision.

Neonatal Nurses Day… 
Last Friday (9/15) was Neonatal Nurses Day. It’s a time where we honor our nursing colleagues and celebrate their hard work and dedication. With more than 4,500 babies born at GBMC annually, we are very fortunate to have such a high-level NICU to care for those babies who are born too small, too sick or too soon. Our NICU has an exemplary group of nurses and I want to thank them for all they do.

Environmental Services Week…
Last week was also Environmental Services (EVS) & Housekeeping Week (Sept 9--15) and I want to take time to recognize the contributions of our EVS staff. Cleanliness is everyone’s job at GBMC, but, our EVS staff members are the experts in cleaning who work tirelessly to get the job done. They spend countless hours in their vital role in keeping us clean and helping to prevent infections. There are more than 100 EVS associates working around the clock at GBMC in a variety of roles, servicing over 1.2 million square feet of facility. So, please join me in honoring all the men and women of EVS.


  1. I would like to share a comment about one of the EVS workers; Mr. Tony. Mr. Tony takes care of the Emergency Department and is very thorough and never misses a beat to get everything clean. We do appreciate him very much. Thank you Mr. Tony!


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