Friday, February 8, 2019

There is No Substitute for Compassion

This week, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the use of automation and technology in healthcare. Many are trying to sell us various products such as online primary care, remote monitoring, and decision tools using artificial intelligence, just to name a few. I have no doubt that we can use technology to improve the value of our care, but this week I was reminded that only humans can love and demonstrate their love for others, especially when the other is in a time of need. On Wednesday, we celebrated the winner of the annual Nancy J. Petrarca Compassionate Caregiver Award. This year’s winner is Carolyn Insley, the Executive Assistant to Jenny Coldiron, our Vice President for Philanthropy. Carolyn is an important player on our philanthropy team.

John Adams, MD, the deceased former Chair of the Department of Pathology at GBMC, started the Compassionate Caregiver Award after losing his friend, Nancy Petrarca, to cancer. His vision and philanthropy created the endowment that underwrites the rounds that bear his name.

I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Carolyn. While she is not a caregiver to patients, Carolyn cares for the GBMC Team every day. Carolyn is an outstanding example of a caregiver to the caregivers. She has overseen the Adams Rounds and its predecessor, the Schwartz Rounds, from their beginning. She treats everyone with care and she never says no when she is asked for help. Carolyn does an outstanding job supporting Jenny and she has been a wonderful colleague to me. She quietly and graciously does so many things to aide our efforts to raise funds and she is frequently the point person in our efforts to soothe the pain of someone who has lost a loved one or who is going through a difficult time.

So, please join me in congratulating Carolyn. We will see many new hi-tech tools in healthcare, but there is no substitute for the compassion that Carolyn displays every day!

I am also very proud of all 87 of this year’s nominees and the other four finalists: 
Tara Archer –  Gilchrist Kids Volunteer
J. Christopher Greenawalt, MD – Hospitalist
Kory Joyner – Security Officer
Lisa Brengle Krueger, RN –  SAFE Nurse

Thank you all for your caring and your leadership!

Help us reach our goal!!!

Our nation’s blood supply has been critically depleted because of multiple snowstorms, frigid temperatures around the country, and the recent government shutdown, which reduced the number of blood drives in our region. Blood drives help surgical patients, those who’ve suffered traumatic injuries, and patients who need blood because of illnesses such as cancer. I encourage you to watch our two Facebook Live shows “To Your Health” and “Greater Living Live, to learn more about the value of blood drives and why I am asking for your help!

This Valentine’s Day, GBMC is hosting its first American Red Cross Blood Drive for 2019. Currently, we have about 90 people registered to participate, but we really need to reach our goal of 120 donors. The drive is from 5:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm and will take place in our Civiletti Conference Center. To register, click here.

Please have a heart and sign up to donate. It’s easy, won’t take much time, and you will literally be helping to save lives. I am confident that the GBMC family will rise to the occasion and make this blood drive the best one yet! Thank you!

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