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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Celebrating An Amazing Ride

The Tour de Ford event concluded last Sunday on a glorious late summer afternoon.

I want to personally thank the organizers, the volunteers, the sponsors, and the riders from all parts of the System and community for making this such an incredible event.

The ride along Belle Isle on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012

In the third year of the Tour, we had over 500 riders and raised over $50,000 for the Tom Groth Patient Medical Needs Fund, which provides health care, medication, medical supplies and social services to underinsured patients at Henry Ford.

My wife and I rode the “35-mile” route, which according to my GPS was 38.45 miles.

We had a great ride through Eastern Market, down the Dequindre Cut, over to the Riverfront, east to the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle, a quick spin around the island, back to Jefferson, Indian Village, The Pointes and a welcome rest stop at our Cottage facility.

Did a banana, orange slice and water ever taste better?

Back on the bike, westward to Midtown and finally the Henry Ford Hospital Campus, where our great friends from Subway provided the lunch, and drinks, including some great Michigan ale from Rochester Mills Brewery, were a plenty.

Lots of celebration of the ride, the day and each other.

In all:

  • 3 hours in the saddle
  • 2,048 calories burned
  • average heart rate of 129, and
  • average moving speed of 12.0 mph

Continue reading

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Ready to Ride: Tour de Ford

Henry Ford hosts numerous fun and generous philanthropic events, but there’s one “grass-roots” effort that really stands out from the rest: Tour de Ford.

Tour de Ford was started by two cycling enthusiasts who also happen to be Henry Ford ER physicians, Dr. Gerard Martin and Dr. Ronny Otero. This year’s event on Sunday, Sept. 9 at Henry Ford Hospital promises to the biggest and the best yet.

Tour de Ford is the perfect balance of fun and charity. This will be the third year I’ll be riding too, and I even got my wife to join me in the 35-mile route.

Unlike other rides, anybody can participate in the Tour de Ford (and you aren’t required to wear those spandex shorts or have a particularly fancy bike either).

If you aren’t able to do the 10-, 35-, or 70 -mile ride, the Tour de Ford offers volunteer opportunities so employees and community members alike can be involved.

While the event is a great opportunity to give back to the community, it simultaneously offers an amazing tour of Detroit.

Cyclists of all experience levels have the opportunity to tour some of the best sites of our city – Belle Isle, Eastern Market, the new CHASS facility and more – all while benefiting the Tom Groth Patient Medical Needs Fund, which provides health care, medication, medical supplies and social services to underinsured patients at Henry Ford. Continue reading

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The Humble Task of Transforming Detroit

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along not only by the might shoves of its heroes but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”
– Helen Keller

The beauty of the work at Henry Ford is we have people performing great and noble tasks as well as humble tasks as though they were great.  The beauty of what is transforming our city is the same, and here is an example of a great “humble task.” 

The following was sent to me by Patrick Irwin, vice president of Human Resources:

Students paint the train viaduct at Trumbull and Holden, near Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

On the way back from a meeting today, Kathy Macki and I ran into a group of amazingly enthusiastic and energized teenagers dedicated to making a difference in the “D.”

This summer youth volunteer group is part of an organization calledSummer in the Citywhich is based out of Southwest Detroit but does volunteer work across the “D.”

Predominately high school students, they are painting and fixing the “D” one viaduct, one graffiti wall, one over-grown field at a time.

In the above picture, the students are painting every inch of the train viaduct near Trumbull and Holden in the shadow of Henry Ford Hospital.  Continue reading

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The Henry Ford Violins: Where Medicine Meets Music

I would normally be concerned about privacy issues and other regulations regarding the sharing of clinical information about patients, but I am going to risk it to tell you about two recent and unique patients we examined at Henry Ford:  Mr. Stradivarius and Mr. Guarneri.

Actually these were not really patients but two extraordinary musical instruments: the 1709 Stradivarius and the 1744 Guarneri del Gesu.

These very rare violins – part of the historical artifact collection at The Henry Ford in Dearborn – weren’t here for the usual examination and blood work that we would recommend for 300-year-old patients.  They weren’t here for a tune-up either.

The Henry Ford, the museum and more which is one of the great treasures in the world, was hoping to make new discoveries about these “old world” musical instruments using some of our “high-tech” medical instruments, specifically the computed tomography equipment in the Department of Radiology.

So how do you use modern-day medical technology designed for humans to uncover the history of a 300-year-old violin’s design and repair?

Enter Henry Ford Hospital radiologist Dr. John Bonnett.

While his focus is on abdominal imaging at the hospital, he has made a hobby out of imaging non-human objects with the CT scanner – flowers, seashells, watches. Continue reading

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2-Year Anniversary, Part 2: Plans for the Future

View “Part 1” of the two-year anniversary video here.

So what do you think about the future plans for Henry Ford Hospital and our accomplishments during this past year? Share your comments below.

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2-Year Anniversary, Part 1: Celebrating What We’ve Accomplished


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Doc in the DC


Congratulations to the employees of Henry Ford. This award was won by each and every one of you…

Nancy Schlichting and Bob Riney receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in Washington, DC.

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Medicine and Golf

It’s April and it’s time for the Masters.

The greatest golf tournament, not because it is the hardest or has the greatest field, but because it is the most magnificent venue in golf.  It also is the official start of spring.

I love golf.

At the annual HFHS golf outing with Dave Hill, President and Owner of Superior Ambulance; Rich Montefusco, Executive VP of Siemens Enterprise Communications; and Bob Riney, President & COO, HFHS.

No, not because it is the only game a 62-year-old CEO can continue to play at his late age. I love golf because it is my stress relief, my yoga.

There is something primordial about hitting a projectile and landing it where you intend. Of course, not always; sometimes, not frequently at all, but enough times to keep you coming back to hit the ball again.

Golf is also a great metaphor for life.

For example, the golf movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron, is roughly based on the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad Gita, where the Warrior/Hero Arjuna refuses to fight.  It is a story about the challenges we all face to be true to ourselves.

Another example is the movie “Caddy Shack,” which is based on the lives of several of my friends at Red Run Golf Club.  It is a story about the challenges we all face when we are true to ourselves. (Frightening, in an odd way.)

I am often asked how medicine is like golf, or how it differs.

Here is my take on the similarities:

— There is no substitute for practice and repetition, in golf or in medicine.

— In both medicine and golf, a great teacher/mentor can get you better faster than new technology, although some technology can revolutionize the practice and the game. Continue reading

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Eat This, Not That: Shadowing a Henry Ford Hospital Dietitian

It’s no secret that health and wellness is a hot topic of discussion, especially on Doc in the D.  Seems like a lot more of our employees and others are becoming more “engaged” in establishing new and healthy habits. 

So I thought it would be interesting to walk in the shoes of an expert who deals directly with health, wellness and one of our favorite topics on this blog…food.

I recently shadowed Rebecca Trepasso, a registered dietitian at Henry Ford Hospital, who cares for some of our sickest patients in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.

Rebecca is another great example of Henry Ford employees – committed, professional, expert and funny.

(I still am working on convincing her that pizza does have all major food groups represented and truly is the perfect food.  Once I do that, it is on to Buffalo wings and fries.)

But seriously…

Rebecca works daily with patients to educate them on their dietary needs and how to best follow the dietary plan created by their health care team.

She’s also a preceptor in the Henry Ford Hospital Dietetic Internship Program, mentoring promising students within the Dietary Department.

During our time together, Rebecca showed me how she uses information technology in caring for her patient case load, the many processes and steps she goes through daily to educate her patients, and how she supports students.

But her work doesn’t end there. Continue reading

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