Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Nurse Icon Retires

This week we hosted a gathering to celebrate the career of Justine Kellar, RN, BSN, CENP, Director, Critical Care, Emergency Services and Medicine. Justine is retiring after 44 years of service to GBMC!

I remember writing about Justine in this blog back in 2010, shortly after I arrived in Baltimore. At that time, Justine had already given so much to our hospital as a staff nurse and nursing leader. She had excelled in patient care and was revered by her peers as an outstanding colleague, but what struck me the most was what the young nurses thought about her. These early-career nurses saw Justine as a mentor and a trusted adviser. I have come to understand through the years that Justine is a mentor to many, many nurses. Her younger colleagues knew that advice from Justine was of incredible value and that she would always look out for them.

When a person has served a healthcare organization for so long, I always reflect on how many patients they have helped and how many lives they have changed because of their care. With Justine, I must also reflect on how many careers she has helped to develop. The entire GBMC family is grateful for all that Justine has given us through those 44 years and we wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement!

A Flood and a Ball Game

I once again saw the commitment, patience, and diligence of our staff in action at GBMC this week. Sunday night, due to a water pressure issue stemming from the Baltimore City water system, Unit 34 (a general medicine floor) flooded. Our team of nurses acted swiftly as the water quickly began to rise to their ankles, moving patients to different units and continuing to monitor their conditions seamlessly throughout the disruption.

Situations like this remind us that things do not always go as planned; it is important to be able to adapt to changes and issues around you and to keep moving forward.

I would like to thank all the staff members of Unit 34 and their manager, Jill Silbert, RN, for their fabulous work and flexibility during this challenging situation. I would also like to thank Stacey McGreevy, Vice President of Support Services, David Brierley, Director of Sodexo Services, and Dr. JoAnn Ioannou, Chief Nursing Officer, for their on-site management of the situation, as well as all of our clinical, environmental, facilities and support services staff for rising to the occasion. Let me thank Eaze Restoration and their local rapid response crew for quickly coming to our aid and working to restore Unit 34 so that we may care for patients there as soon as possible.

Last night I attended our annual GBMC Night at the Yard & Birdland Social Night with many GBMC staff members, friends, and family. While I usually root for the Orioles, last night they played my beloved New York Yankees. It was a fun night at Camden Yards! I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to connect with our staff outside of the hospital setting and I hope everyone in attendance had a wonderful time.

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