Friday, November 9, 2018

A GBMC Giant is Retiring

This week, we began celebrating the outstanding career of Bennett J. (Ben) Beres. Ben joined GBMC HealthCare in February 2012 as Chief Operating Officer for Greater Baltimore Medical Associates (GBMA). He has made a huge difference in the functioning of our physician company in the almost seven years that he has been with us.

Ben and I previously worked together at Boston Medical Center. So, when we were looking for a new operational leader for GBMA in late 2011, I called him. I remember being ecstatic when Ben agreed to interview for the position.

I called Ben because I knew that he was a phenomenal physician practice manager and leader. He always started from the perspective of the patient, but he also looked out for those providing the care. It was important to him that physician leaders worked in partnership with practice managers. Ben was just the right person to oversee the implementation of our patient-centered medical homes. He completely embraced our vision of becoming an accountable system of care that the patient would experience as a whole. He championed extended office hours to include evenings and weekends and he led our work for better office throughput. Ben sent Sarah Whiteford, MD, and Ben Hand, MD, to the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle to learn office flow science. They returned to work with our architects to design our Family Care Associates office in the Kahlert Pavilion. A hallmark of this office is that there is no patient waiting room. Patients go from the greeter station directly to the exam room. 

Ben first partnered with GBMA Medical Director Dr. Mark Lamos and then with Dr. Harold Tucker, with whom he constructed the rebranding and relaunching as GBMC Health Partners. Ben has also done excellent work with our specialty practices. 

In addition to being an incredible manager and leader, Ben is also an incredible human being. He is dedicated, hard-working, and always focused on making things better. Perhaps Ben will be best remembered for being the consummate friend. I have never seen anyone make as many friends and make them so easily as Ben. I believe that this occurs because he treats everyone with respect.

Ben has lived apart from his dear wife, Ellen, as she has continued her career as an internist at Dartmouth. They have each spent a lot of time traveling between Manchester, New Hampshire, and BWI and we, the GBMC family, have benefited from their sacrifices.

GBMC has been so fortunate to have Ben as a friend and colleague, as have I. We will miss him dearly, but we wish him the best in his well-earned retirement!

We will never forget Ben or his dedication to patients and his work at empowering physicians to lead. Therefore, we have decided to name the library at Family Care Associates, the Ben Beres Library. Please join me in thanking Ben for all that he has done for GBMC and our patients. 

Thanking our Medical Staff Services Team
Each year, during the first week of November, we recognize the important role that our medical services professionals play in our healthcare system. During National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week, we thank all our staff who work behind the scenes to ensure our providers are properly credentialed, licensed, and trained in their respective specialties. Often called the “gatekeepers of patient safety,” the work our exceptional medical staff professionals do contributes to our system’s high safety and quality standards. We thank you for your efforts and dedication this week, and every week of the year.

I’d also like to celebrate the NICU’s recent recognition from the Maryland Patient Safety Council (MPSC), which awarded the GBMC NICU with a banner of excellence in the care of infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. This accomplishment is the culmination of two years of implementing best practices and compassionate care to our most vulnerable patients. As you can imagine, caring for newborns experiencing drug withdrawal because of in-utero exposure requires ongoing diligence and expert care. It’s an emotional and often difficult job seeing these infants through withdrawal while also helping to educate and support the mothers and families. I am extremely proud of the work being accomplished by our neonatal team.

Finally, GBMC will be kicking off the season of giving by participating in #GivingTuesday. Giving Tuesday is celebrated each year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (this year it’s November 27th) and will benefit GBMC’s Child Life Program. Supporting our #GivingTuesday campaign means you’ll help provide toys, games, and other tools our Child Life specialists use to help ease the stress our pediatric patients often experience during their hospital stay. There are two ways to give this season – through the CrowdRise page and by gifting a donation through the Amazon Wish List. It’s amazing to watch our Child Life specialists help our young patients cope with the anxiety brought on by hospitalization, and I know they will appreciate the support.

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