Friday, November 22, 2019

Recognition for an Outstanding Service to Our Community

GBMC has a long history of caring for women and their babies before, during, and after childbirth. We are very proud of our obstetrical services (with good reason!).

The Joint Commission began offering Advanced Perinatal Certification a few years ago. So, we decided to apply for this special certification. We were also very interested in the improvement opportunities inherent in comparing our current performance against best practice standards. We submitted our application this past July, and this week we hosted two Joint Commission Surveyors for our site visit.

I attended the opening session and continue to be very impressed with all that we are doing to deliver the kind of care that we would want for our own loved ones. I also attended the closing session, during which the surveyors complimented Dr. Victor Khouzami, our Chair of Obstetrics, and Lisa Groff, RN, our Director of Women’s Services, for the excellence of our perinatal program. While we have not yet received the official word, I am convinced that we will hear that we have achieved the certification, and when we do, we will be the first and only hospital in Maryland with this distinction. We are confident that through this process, we will improve our program to provide even better care for future patients and their families. Congratulations to all!

Tribute wall recognizes historic and significant impact of volunteers 
On Wednesday, we held a dedication of our new tribute wall to recognize the historic and significant impact of our volunteers. The tribute wall provides a glimpse of the unique history of the GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary and how a community of volunteers helped bring the organization to life in the early 1960s. It celebrates the role of volunteers in the growth of GBMC HealthCare through the decades, including the creation of Gilchrist in 1994. Tribute is also payed to those volunteers who have reached significant milestones in their individual volunteer journeys.

Today, their legacy is a system of care that includes more than 1,000 volunteers who donate their time and talent to GBMC HealthCare. Since 1963, our volunteers have given more than 3,376,000 hours to support the patients of both GBMC and Gilchrist and have all played a unique role in the delivery of care. Many of them have loved ones who received care, or they have been patients themselves. As patients and volunteers, their voices are represented in every aspect of care delivery. They serve on numerous committees, including the Patient and Family Advisory Councils, Quality and Safety, Medical Ethics, Spiritual Support, Philanthropy, and many others.

Our volunteers give selflessly to others, and they understand the value and importance of a friendly smile and the comfort of kind words in the healing process. The efforts of our volunteers are rewarding for them, in addition to being of great service to our patients and employees. I’m extremely grateful for their dedication and hard work and for the wonderful job they do.

I want to thank Carmen C. Baeza, GBMC Director of Volunteer Services, and everyone who helped to make this wall possible, especially our Philanthropy Department.

GBMC Thanksgiving Day Turkeys and the Community
As part of our time-honored tradition, GBMC provides turkeys for our employees and volunteers across our healthcare system to share with their families during Thanksgiving. While many on our team receive their turkeys, many choose to donate their turkeys to local charities. Chaplain Joe Hart and his team work along with our community partners to forge relationships of support during various occasions and holidays throughout the year. Thanksgiving is a season when we donate turkeys to the Assistance Center of Towson Churches, the William S. Baer School for Children with special needs, and the Maryland Food Bank. These agencies have food assistance programs and our turkey donations assist in supporting families in need. In this season of gratitude, we are thankful for our staff and volunteers who support our community in this way.

Speaking of giving…Two weeks ago, I wrote in my blog about gun violence and how it’s a public health issue. Earlier this week, I was informed that for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, our Internal Medicine Residency Program donated their GBMC turkeys and canned food to an organization that helps mothers who have lost their children to gun violence. The loss of a child is any parent’s greatest nightmare, and I hope this donation helps to ease their grief and allows them to find comfort when they’re feeling anything but thankful. You can learn more about this organization from their website

Debbie Jones-Shook, CRNP, recently received the 2020 American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Maryland State Award for Excellence. This prestigious award, founded in 1991, is given annually to a dedicated nurse practitioner in each state who demonstrates excellence in their area of practice.

Debbie will be recognized for her achievement during the 2020 AANP National Conference in June 2020. She has been a certified registered nurse practitioner with GBMC since her graduation in December 1999. She was inspired to pursue an advanced career in nursing because she wanted to have a more active role in the care of patients. She told me that “becoming a nurse practitioner allowed me to continue to use my nursing skills of patient care and education, but further enabled me to work with and build relationships with my patients, educate, guide, and follow them through their life span.” Recently, she also became certified as a diabetes educator, which has further improved her care to her patients.

Congratulations Debbie!

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