What We Can Achieve in 2013

“Be Great in Act; As You Have Been in Thought.”

— William Shakespeare

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Each year that I’ve been President and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital, I’ve made it a tradition to send my colleagues and my team a New Year’s card with a very special message.

In 2011, that message was BELIEVE. Our belief in our mission, each other, our work and our city is what drives our relationships and emotional engagement in what we do every day.

Our belief in what Henry Ford Hospital is, belief in who we are, each other, our work and our city.  This special role that we play, although not perfectly fulfilled at all times, is what drives our relationships and emotional engagement in what we do every day.  And health care is all about belief.

In 2012, I challenged our team to DREAM big, consider the thoughts and possibilities that our beliefs would create. Dream beyond the limits of our doubts, our fears and our reluctance.  Dream the dreams of our forefathers and our children. Dream about the greatness that can be created at Henry Ford Hospital and the Henry Ford Medical Group; true greatness that no one could argue.

And when you truly believe and your dreams do not place limits on yourself, it is time to ACHIEVE.

Each time, every patient, every encounter, everything that we do – ACHIEVE, the word that I hope will inspire all of us in our actions throughout 2013.

Below is my New Year’s card, which I now share with you.

Happy New Year!

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Holiday Tradition

Henry Ford Hospital lobby, 1950.

Henry Ford Hospital lobby, 1950.

For many of us, the holidays are all about tradition, be it a gift given every year, a special dinner or dessert, or a trip to see family.

Even at Henry Ford Hospital, we’ve maintained certain holiday traditions for decades, putting up decorations and a tree in our main lobby, as you can see from this photo (right) from 1950.

But tradition extends far beyond the holiday season.

At Henry Ford, we have a nearly 100-year tradition of Detroit pride, clinical excellence and treating each and every one of our patients as if they were members of our own family.

For some, there’s even a tradition of working the holiday shift to give colleagues the opportunity to celebrate with their loved ones. Thank you for being there.

Henry Ford Hospital lobby, 2012.

Henry Ford Hospital lobby, 2012.

I will be seeing those of you working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as I make rounds with my family.

Having worked so many years on the holidays, I fully realize your personal sacrifice on these days when you would like to be home with your family and loved ones.

Thank you to each and every one of the Henry Ford team members for being here and always giving your best.

Your work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

I, along with my leadership team, see first-hand your hard work and your continued effort to make Henry Ford Hospital stand out among the rest. Continue reading

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Henry Ford Hospital Gives Thanks

It’s time to call in a refill on that prescription I wrote last Thanksgiving. No, not the one where I encourage extra helpings of turkey and pumpkin pie (though, it’s okay to indulge just for one day).

This prescription is about giving thanks, something that research has shown to have a positive impact on your emotional and physical health.

As you’ll see in this video, many members of our outstanding health care team have already filled the prescription and shared their reasons for being thankful.

So now it’s your turn.

To our team who gives so much each and every day to care for others at Henry Ford, please consider sharing in the comments section below what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving.

And let’s not forget the “giving” part of Thanksgiving!

I know that many of you will use your time off work this holiday weekend to give back to the community. I’d love to read about your plans in the comments section.

I’d also like to give a heartfelt “thanks” to everyone on our health care team who will be working over the holiday weekend.  We are so grateful to have you on our team and for all that you give of yourselves to return our patients to good health.

Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Dream Big in 2012

“You can learn a lot about a person from his dreams. What we dream is a reflection of who we are. It is the measure of our aspirations and goals, and of those values we hold dear and place above all else.”
– Zadok Rabinowitz

The New Year offers each of us a point in time for reflection, renewal, and most importantly, resolution.

It’s one of the many reasons (along with football and fond memories of my Grandma Mary’s roast pork and Romanian sausage dinner) that New Year’s Day is one of my favorite holidays.

Every year I have made – and kept – the same resolution: To thank, challenge and even inspire my family, friends and colleagues, as well as myself.

As part of that resolution, I started a holiday tradition as President and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital to send my colleagues and team a New Year’s card with a very special message.

In 2011, that message was BELIEVE. Our belief in our mission, each other, our work and our city is what drives our relationships and emotional engagement in what we do every day.

When you truly believe, there’s no limit to what you can achieve and dream…which brings me to this year’s message. Continue reading

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The Greatest Gift

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration.

At the Henry Ford Hospital campus, there’s much to celebrate for our accomplishments of this year and for the future accomplishments that we’re about to achieve.

I want to thank each and every one of the Henry Ford team members who have worked so hard in 2011 for all that we have accomplished.

During the holiday season, we often spend a great deal of our time and energy worrying about the perfect gift, the perfect menu or who we should invite to the celebrations we hold.

But for all of us, the greatest gift is right before us.

And that is the gift of each other, and the kindness, caring and compassion that we give to one another.

It is my wish that each of you receive – and give – the greatest of all gifts:

The gift of each other.

From all of us at Henry Ford, I want to wish you a joy-filled holiday and a healthy New Year!



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It’s Good for Your Health to Give Thanks, Part II

When I invited you to join my virtual thanksgiving table on Doc in the D, I felt pretty confident that you would provide responses. But I didn’t expect the sheer volume of diverse and positive responses from across the entire Henry Ford Health System.

Giving Thanks 2011

Many of you wrote about your families, both at home and at work; others commented about their health and the gift of life. Several of these posts are featured in a photo slideshow posted above.

(And you can read all of the comments here.) Thank you to all who shared on the blog.

Not only am I thankful for your comments on the blog, but I am thankful for many of the same things you are: family, friends, good health, and the work that we do.

This Thanksgiving, I would like to take note of all the people we serve who would love to be able to do what we do everyday. Our patients are constant reminders of our ability to contribute to the well-being of others.

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A Thanksgiving Rx: It’s Good for Your Health to Give Thanks

Last November, I wrote a Thanksgiving-themed post about the positive impact a grateful and positive attitude can have on one’s emotional and physical health.

So in the spirit of good health, I want to try something a bit different this year on Doc in the D. I would like my 2011 Thanksgiving blog post to be about you, the team of health care workers who give of themselves daily to care for others.

If giving thanks truly is good for your health, it’s something that every CEO should prescribe (especially if he or she is a doctor).

Here’s my Thanksgiving prescription to you:
In the comments section on this page, tell me what you’re thankful for in your life, your career, your families, your friends, or the simple comforts in life.

Think of it as a virtual Thanksgiving table, where we all have a turn to share and give thanks for what makes us happy in life.

During the week of Thanksgiving, I’ll randomly select some of your responses to feature on Doc in the D and the Henry Ford Hospital Facebook page!

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BELIEVE: Reflection, Renewal & Resolution in 2011

New Year’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I have great memories of a day full of football, and my Grandma Mary’s roast pork and Romanian sausage dinner.

I don’t want to hear from my food blog responders about the cholesterol content of those items. It was tradition and only once a year. And according to Grandma, if you ate any poultry on New Year’s Day, you were going to itch for the entire year.

The other part of New Year’s Day that I continue to love is that it is a point in time for reflection and renewal, as well as resolution.

I have made my share of failed resolutions: the weight loss target that seemed to be lost by Super Bowl Sunday; the promise to stop using four-letter words while yelling at the televised football game, which generally lasted through the first quarter of the Michigan game; and so on.

One resolution that I have kept every year is to thank, challenge and hopefully inspire my family, friends and colleagues, as well as myself, to reaffirm what are our core values and beliefs.


I’m a big “belief” person.

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Caring for Patients is the Greatest Gift You Can Give

 “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

As I reflect on 2010, those words from our founder Henry Ford take on a special meaning.

This year we celebrated the 95th anniversary of our hospital.

But it is so much more than a celebration of bricks and mortar or longevity.

Our success is truly a measure of our people; our health care teams – from the valet and grounds keepers to the nurses and physicians – working together each day to build on our 95-year commitment to provide the best care to our patients. 

It is teamwork, supported by hard work and dedication that gives us greater purpose. Like I’ve said before, everyone plays a role in patient care.

As you celebrate the holidays and the New Year with loved ones, take a moment to reflect on how you have made a difference in the lives of others – our patients and your colleagues.

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A Message of Thanksgiving

“It turns out, giving thanks is good for your health.”

So starts a Nov. 23, 2010 piece  by columnist Melinda Beck in the Wall Street Journal

She goes on to detail how research demonstrates that being grateful can lead to better emotional, psychological and physical health. 

Additional work being performed on both physical and electronic social networks shows how positive and negative attitudes not only affect an individual, but also affect groups of individuals in similar ways. 

The founder of Henry Ford Hospital talked about wealth in a somewhat different manner than many of us.

“Health is the greatest wealth,” he said. 

Perhaps our greatest wealth might be gratitude and positivity.

Continue reading

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