A Big Favor

To kick off the return of Doc in the D, I wanted to share something special that truly touched my heart. The journey we take in our professions is personal but also shared. Much of the shared experience is not technical; it is related to the humanity of our roles and calling.

Some among us can provide insights into this far better than others. They can describe the emotional subtleties, the push and pull on our professional and personal lives, and the fundamental thread of our connectivity with our patients.

A brilliant (and award winning) essay by one of our surgical residents, Dr. Ko Un Clara Park, captures this and needs no further introduction. Continue reading

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An “Edge” in Cancer Treatment

It is always nice to have an edge, an advantage, something in your favor.

Home court advantage or having a unique skill that helps to succeed over others is exactly what we want in a game – but also exactly what we want when we are facing the challenges in our health.

This week marked an exciting leap forward in giving all of us an “edge” in cancer treatment.

There’s now new technology designed to perform advanced, non-invasive cancer procedures anywhere in the body with extreme precision and low-toxicity.

And, I should mention that Henry Ford Hospital is the only location in North American – and among only two worldwide – equipped to give patients a new “edge” in the fight against cancer.

We are now home to the Edge Radiosurgery Suite, which uses new real-time tumor tracking technology and motion management capabilities, making it possible to protect healthy tissue with sub-millimeter accuracy, improving both safety and comfort for patients.

The Edge offers results comparable to surgery, but without the incision or hospital stay, treating patients in 15 minutes or less, and returning them to their everyday lives.

So when we say, “Game on Cancer,” we really mean it (and it’s not just because former Lions wide receiver Herman Moore attended the ribbon cutting for the Edge).

Herman Moore joins Drs. Siddique, Kalkanis, Conway, Movsas, Chapman and Bob Riney to officially launch the Edge.

Herman Moore joins Drs. Siddiqui, Kalkanis, Conway, Movsas, Chapman, and Bob Riney and myself to officially launch the Edge.

Herman is a perfect example of having an edge.

He was bigger, faster and better than defensive backs trying to stop him.  Megatron before Megatron.  He knows about the benefits of having an “edge.”

The Edge truly takes cancer radiation therapy to the next level.

And it’s no surprise that it’s happening here. Continue reading

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Baby Wings

A few “Baby Wings” and their parents at Henry Ford Hospital had a special visit today from one of the Detroit Red Wings, someone who has been with the NHL for nearly 20 years – Daniel Alfredsson.


“Baby Wing” Thaddeus, who joined the world at HFH this week, sports his new Red Wing beanie with his mom and Alfredsson.

For those of you who do not follow hockey, Alfredsson is a near lock for a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Before he joined the Wings this year, he was captain of the Ottawa Senators from 1999-2013 with almost all franchise scoring records. He played for the Swedish National team 13 times and won an Olympic gold medal in 2006.

Alfredsson – joined by Sandy Pierce, CEO of FirstMerit Michigan and Chair of the HFHS Board, and FirstMerit Mascot Franklin the Moose – visited a couple of families on the HFH labor and delivery unit to officially launch our new “Baby Wings” program.

Dr. Munkarah, Sandy Pierce, Alfredsson and Franklin the FirstMerit moose with our team on H3.

Dr. Munkarah, Sandy Pierce, Alfredsson and Franklin the FirstMerit moose with our team on H3.

Continue reading

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Doc in the “HS”

Some of you know I have dual roles – that of “Doc in the D” and “Doc in the HS,” as the Chief Medical Officer of Henry Ford Health System.

In that role, we are making some great strides in linking our physicians and clinicians in a more integrated sense.

This is by no means a solo effort.

Dr. Joanna Pease, the Assistant System Chief Medical Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Henry Ford Macomb, has been an amazing partner in moving forward these efforts. She is a warrior for extraordinary care, quality and support of our clinical work in the System.

A major goal is to get all of our programs and services working together throughout the System.

This is called clinical program integration.

And, as challenging as it is, it offers us tremendous opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of the Henry Ford Medical Group, employed physicians, and private practice physicians working together with the care teams, as well as the potential for seamlessness of care within our System.

Dr. Steven Harrington, the cardiovascular lead surgeon at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, is now an affiliate staff at Henry Ford Hospital.

Dr. Steven Harrington, the cardiovascular lead surgeon at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, is now an affiliate staff at Henry Ford Hospital.

Some of these activities are occurring right now. 

For example, Dr. Steven Harrington, the lead cardiovascular surgeon at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, is now an affiliate staff at Henry Ford Hospital, bringing his most complex cases to Detroit; a great surgeon and a great story.

It is wonderful to hear Steve talk about the expertise of the Henry Ford Hospital cardiovascular team — from pre-op to the OR to the ICU.

We’re very glad to have him on the team. He brings innovation and a way of thinking about quality that is priceless.

Don’t worry: The “Doc in the D” team has been at work on the Boulevard as well.  Continue reading

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A Launch of Epic Proportions

Thank you to all of you who, over the last few days, launched Epic at Henry Ford Hospital, Kingswood Hospital, Henry Ford Medical Group ambulatory surgical sites and free-standing HFMG emergency departments.

Epic launch in the Emergency Department.

Epic launch in the Emergency Department.

Thank you to our Henry Ford Hospital staff, as well as all of the superusers and other staff members from around Henry Ford Health System.

Thank you to the Epic crew and the support teams.

I hope you feel like you are official HFH’ers.


Almost 7,000 Henry Ford employees were trained to make this happen.

The preparation was clearly noticeable.

"Go Live" Nov. 9 at 3 a.m.

“Go Live” Nov. 9 at 3 a.m.

In the last few days prior to the launch, our team members looked a lot like athletes who had prepared for the event and were itching to start.

“Let’s just get this going” was a frequently heard comment.

“We are ready” was another.

The sense of calmness, the degree of problem solving, and the teaming of all involved could be seen throughout the halls of Henry Ford Hospital.

Somehow our staff seemed to be uplifted.

Throughout all the commotion, I continued to see the human touch in caring for our patients. Our staff seemed even more attentive to these needs despite the information technology demands. Continue reading

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Doc in the “W-E”

Oh Canada! Especially Windsor-Essex County

“Doc in the D” has been reaching out to our friends and neighbors south of the river to create relationships in education, patient care, employment, research and perhaps other trade. Every trip has been rewarded with friendship, ideas and opportunities for mutual benefits.

It is all part of my conviction of the vast regional benefits in making medicine and education (“Meds and Eds”) links between Detroit and Southeastern Michigan and Southwest Ontario in an industry other than automotive.

We have developed great friends like David Musyj, the superb CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, and others who share with us the concept of an “international gateway for health care” that spans the Detroit River. (Note that I’m not referring to it as a border.)

As I have frequently said, a river is not that great of a divide and there is nowhere else in North America, or perhaps the world, that offers the breadth of possibilities.

Many of you know about our Henry Ford Canadian workers, many in pivotal positions at Henry Ford Hospital.

You’re probably also aware that we provide acute care services, in particular for cardiac conditions, when needed by our Canadian partners.

Some may remember the story of Jaime McDermott (above), the Leamington Flyer assistant coach who crossed the river last year for life-saving surgery for an ascending aortic aneurism at Henry Ford Hospital.

Others have used our centers of excellence services for second opinions and peace of mind.  Continue reading

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Doc in the “M”

Some of you may be wondering: “Where is Doc in the D?”

Production from the “Doc in the D” studios has been somewhat less this past year, but I want to assure you that “Doc in the D” has been working on a number of projects and we are ready to let you know what’s happening.

During the next week on the blog, I’ll be posting about a few of our team’s behind-the-scenes activities:

  • Doc in the M: Covering my road trips with the Referring Physicians Office and Out State Growth team to drive business across Michigan to our hospital;
  • Doc in the W-E: Working with our friends and neighbors “south of the river”, particularly in Windsor-Essex County, to create relationships in education, patient care, employment, research and perhaps other trade; and
  • Doc in the HS: Wearing the System Chief Medical Officer “hat” at Henry Ford Health System, we’re making great strides in linking our physicians and clinicians in a more integrated sense.

So let’s begin with “Doc in the M.”

Coincidence or karma? Our air ambulance was making a run just as we arrived in Alpena.

Coincidence or karma? Our air ambulance was making a run just as we arrived in Alpena.

Our Centers of Excellence produce the “Miracles on the Boulevard” that touch all of us.

Henry Ford Hospital and our Specialty Centers are a major resource in caring for patients with the most complex of diseases. Few hospitals in the state and region have the full capabilities of HFH, nor produce the results that we do.

To provide this level of care, we must have the services, the expertise, the technology and the facilities.

That is not enough for patients to choose us for their care. Continue reading

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The History Behind the Henry Ford Medical Group Insignia

Henry Ford Medical Group InsigniaYou see it every day at Henry Ford Hospital – on lab coats, hanging in the clinic building lobby or on a business card.

But what do you really know about the Henry Ford Medical Group Insignia, a symbol of our heritage and continuing mission of research, education and exemplary patient care?

While the Medical Group was established nearly 100 years ago, the insignia is a relatively new addition, having only been created within the past decade.

The insignia also is composed of several meaningful elements:

  • Shield: Truth and loyalty
  • Banner: Reward for valiant service
  • The word Invenio: Discovery and innovation
  • The word Committo: To unite, collaborate and work as a team
  • Branches with leaves: Symbolizes the reward of saving lives
  • Henry Ford Hospital and Model T Ambulance: Symbolizes the rich heritage of innovation represented by its founder.
  • Microscope: Symbolizes innovations in medical research and education.
  • Caduceus: Represents the medical profession and its commitment to healing. The snake symbolizes knowledge and wisdom.

There’s even a bit of controversy behind the creation of the Medical Group insignia.  Continue reading

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Modern Innovation, Historic Building

On the Henry Ford Hospital Campus, we have some incredible historic buildings that we see and work in every day.

The main hospital, Clara Ford Pavilion and the “M” building are a few of the structures that have been part of the Campus for decades.


The Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing Dedication, 1925. In attendance were Henry Ford, Clara J. Ford, Edsel B Ford, Eleanor Clay Ford, Dr. Frank J. Sladen, Professor C.E.Winslow, nursing director, Katherine G. Kimmick, R.N. and other nursing staff members.

Did you know that the “M” building was once part of the original construction developed for the first Detroit General Hospital?

Through the years, our Facilities team, using their creativity and expertise, has been able to upgrade, resurface and restore many historic parts of the Campus.

Before: The former gym during construction.

Before: The former gym during construction.

In fact, the four base floors of the hospital units (I-H-A-B-F) were completed in the early 1920s; the floors currently provide support for the inpatient units residing on those floors.

The Clara Ford Pavilion’s first floor conference room in the Department of Medicine shows the grandeur of the old construction, and how restoration and modern upgrades can create spectacular results. Anyone who has been to Europe has seen what is possible for structures even older than ours.

When we were looking to house our Innovation Institute, we wanted to place it prominently on Campus.

After: The Innovation Institute.

After: The Innovation Institute.

Since Clara Ford Pavilion currently is being used for departmental and physician offices, the Education (“Old Ed”) building, located next door, seemed to match our needs.

The “Old Ed” building was designed between 1923-1925 by the Detroit architect Albert Kahn to house the teaching and recreational facilities for the nurses and hospital staff.

The dedication in 1925 was held in the second floor gymnasium, which also functioned as an auditorium (see archival photo above). Continue reading

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Transporting Service Excellence

Whether it’s an inpatient arriving for an x-ray or CT scan, or a patient coming in for a routine clinic appointment, getting patients comfortably and safely from Point A to Point B is a vital component of the patient care experience at Henry Ford Hospital.

And if you’ve seen our team of patient transporters in action, you know it’s not an easy job.

Give it a try someday.

From moving a patient safely out of bed, to negotiating too narrow doorways, to maneuvering beds, gurneys or wheelchairs through the maze of corridors and crowded hallways, all while keeping the patient calm and relaxed and ensuring the patient receives a smooth and timely ride to the next destination in their treatment of care.

Have you ever tried just walking through the main hallway during the lunch hour or walking the patient floors during the height of morning patient care and rounding?

Imagine trying to weave through that crowd with a patient, equipment and a gurney.

The job of a patient transporter is essential to the everyday activity of clinicians too.

That’s why I wanted to highlight the important (and at times overlooked) role of the patient transporter, by taking a walk in the shoes of Willard Robinson.

Willard has been with the System for more than 20 years. He’s also someone I consider a “legacy employee,” because his mother also worked many years for the hospital.

Like many of our employees, Willard goes out of his way to ensure he not only does his job, but puts his patients first. Continue reading

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