Cross-Border Collaboration Summit

One of Henry Ford’s best-known quotes is the following: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

Those words still hold true today.

His quote speaks to the importance of building relationships and identifying opportunities for collaboration; not just within our System but by working with other organizations within health care, our city and beyond.

Cross-Border Summit

The Cross-Border Summit was held in the Henry Ford Innovation Institute.

Working together is where you find success – and opportunity.

Such an opportunity arose with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University in Ontario, Canada.

I have been working to develop collaborative opportunities in clinical care, education, research and innovation with our colleagues “south of the border,” down Canada way.

In prior blogs, I have written about the great work being done to provide support for certain clinical situations with hospitals and providers in Essex County.

After conversations with hospitals, educators, and private and governmental officials, we all felt there were many additional areas of work to consider, leveraging the resources and talents we have collectively.

In parallel with the work we had been doing, the remarkable dean of the Schulich School of Medicine, Dr. Michael Strong, and his leadership team took this concept one step further and extended their outreaching global initiatives to cross border work with Detroit.

This led to Henry Ford. Continue reading

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Bridging the Work-Life Balance in Midtown

We’ve all been here: You leave the hospital after a long day of work and think, “my day’s not even close to being over yet.”

You’re running on low energy and still have to stop to get an oil change, look into a new doggie daycare and set-up a birthday dinner for a friend – and don’t forget the gift!

Midtown Concierge Office at HFH

Monica Sanders and Laurie Walker are ready to help you in the Midtown Concierge office in the hospital.

With our very busy work and personal lives, we all could use an extra hand in getting things done each day.

Recognizing that our hospital employees need a healthy work-life balance to be able to deliver the best possible care to our patients and their families, we’ve been working on special program for a while to help make life a little easier.

We’ve partnered with Midtown Detroit, Inc. and Balance Concierge to create Midtown Concierge, a service that works with local Midtown and City of Detroit businesses to provide goods and services to Henry Ford Hospital campus employees, often at a discounted rate.

Through Balance Concierge, Midtown Concierge offers personal assistance to hospital employees for routine tasks that often seem overwhelming when combined with a busy work and personal life.

This new pilot program is an in-house concierge service available at no fee to HFH Campus employees; you only pay for the items or services requested.

For those who follow Doc in the D, the concept of Midtown Concierge might sound familiar. Continue reading

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A Renovation Nearly 100 Years in the Making

The new Henry Ford Hospital surgical lounge, nearly 100 years in the making, is finally complete and open for business.

But first, let’s review some history.

New Henry Ford Hospital Surgical Lounge

New Henry Ford Hospital Surgical Lounge

As I noted in my previous blog post, Henry Ford Hospital is entering its 100th year of operation.

The iconic building on the Boulevard, whose designer was Albert Wood, a young architect on the payroll of Ford Motor Company, was constructed by Albert A. Albrecht Company.

Construction started in 1917 and, on Dec. 21, 1921, patients were admitted to the new section of Henry Ford Hospital, the base four floors of our current hospital. Continue reading

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Our Patients in 1915

This week marks the beginning of Henry Ford Hospital’s 100th year of operation.

A few weeks ago, I was given a bound log book documenting the first 50 patients who were admitted to Henry Ford Hospital.

We had always acknowledged Oct. 1, 1915 as the first day of patients being admitted to Henry Ford.

This date is true for the actual completed hospital beds in the private-room building of Henry Ford Hospital, which today we call the “M” building.

Medical record log for Henry Ford Hospital's first documented patient.

Medical record log for Henry Ford Hospital’s first documented patient.

















A few patients, however, were actually admitted before that date to the basement area of the hospital in open ward converted space — among them, our first documented patient, a stock handler with chronic back and leg pain and a morphine addiction, who was admitted on July 13, 1915.

The medical records are quite impressive.

The same cursive writing of Henry Ford Hospital that we use today is noted at the top of each page.

The handwriting is meticulous, and clearly not written by a physician with deplorable handwriting, such as myself. Continue reading

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313 Day: Love for Detroit

#313DLove: Working at Henry Ford Hospital

#313DLove: Working at Henry Ford Hospital

“313 Day” has become an unofficial holiday in Detroit, growing in popularity during the past couple of years for offering Detroiters the chance to show their love and support for the city on March 13 (3-13).

The day trends on social media – across Detroit and beyond – with photos and inspiring words sporting the hashtags #313Day and #313DLove.

It’s a welcome break from the snow and Polar Vortex temperatures; an opportunity to focus on the positive and celebrate our city.

#313DLove: Detroit Made

#313DLove: Detroit Made

Since Detroit’s been our home for nearly 100 years, we have plenty to celebrate.

This is a day where “313” has no qualifiers.

You know what they are:

  • 313 is great, but…
  • 313 is fine for certain things, but…
  • 313 is coming back, but …

No “buts” on March 13.  

On 313 Day, we hosted a photo booth at the hospital so our employees could take part in the fun, showing the true spirit of the city, our history and bright future. Continue reading

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Henry Ford Hospital Celebrates Dr. King

Each year at Henry Ford Hospital we take time to honor and celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“50 Years on the Road to Freedom” by Words I Speak Entertainment at the HFH event.

“50 Years on the Road to Freedom” by Words I Speak Entertainment at the HFH event.

Growing up in the 1960s, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a profound impact on me and so many others in our country.

His teachings during the civil rights movement approached the inequalities present throughout this country.

He was an incredible spokesman in dealing with the injustices of the war we were fighting in Southeast Asia that many of us didn’t understand, especially when we had so much to accomplish at home.

For those of us at that time who were looking to become health care professionals, his themes resonated and influenced the way in which we would approach and practice medicine, as well as policies.

The statement that Dr. King made at the 1966 convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights is worth repeating:

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health
care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

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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Game On Cancer

Today is a great day for the City of Detroit.

The Detroit Tigers are set to play a pivotal game three of the ACLS against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park.

And next door at Ford Field, we announced a unique new partnership with another amazing Detroit establishment – the Detroit Lions – to raise $15 million during the next three years for cancer research at the Josephine Ford Cancer Institute.

Our campaign is called “Game on Cancer,” and it offers a fun and creative way to get Lions fans and the community to join our “team” in the fight against cancer through an interactive 3D website of Ford Field.

Executive chairman of Ford Motor Company Bill Ford Jr. and his wife, Lisa, serve as the honorary co-chairs for “Game on Cancer.”

Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Herman Moore is helping to promote the campaign too by starring in the above TV commercial that “tackles” cancer.

“Game on Cancer” will officially launch Sunday, Oct. 20 when the Detroit Lions play the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field, coinciding with the Detroit Lions NFL national game day for breast cancer awareness.

Here’s how you can get in on the Game on Cancer: Continue reading

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Singing in “The D” with Allee Willis

“I am so impressed with your employees. I never had to ask them to smile!”

That’s what Grammy winning songwriter Allee Willis said to me Thursday while shooting the  music video for her new song “The D: A Love Song to Detroit” with a group of our employees at Henry Ford Hospital. Here’s a sneak-peak of our employees rehearsing with Allee (click the upper left-hand corner of the video screen to turn on the audio):

Allee’s a Detroit native, born and raised. Like so many of us, she’s driven to help make the city succeed. And that is the inspiration behind her latest song.

Even if Allee’s name doesn’t sound familiar, you’ll certainly recognize some of the top hits she’s written: “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, “Neutron Dance” by the Pointer Sisters, and “I’ll Be There for You,” the theme from Friends. Continue reading

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Future of Midtown

Chicago and New York City are two great examples of American cities that have transformed over the past few decades into vibrant and prosperous places with thriving neighborhoods.

And Detroit is on a very similar trajectory.

During the past week on Doc in the D, we’ve had the opportunity to explore Midtown’s growth and development. In our fourth and final video in the Midtown “webisode,” we’ll look toward the future of Midtown Detroit and the revitalization of Detroit.

Today, I ask Sue Mosey, President of Midtown Detroit, Inc., a very important question: “Where will Midtown be 10-15 years from now?” Continue reading

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