One Week Proves Why We’re So Much More Than Just a Hospital

It only took one week to prove a point that I regularly tell people: Henry Ford Hospital is so more than just a hospital, a place to care for patients.

We’re a destination in Detroit for education, culture and some truly unbelievable events for our employees, patients and the community. (And it all happens while our health care teams do what they do best: provide the absolute best care and service to each and every one of our patients – each time, every time, every encounter.)

Many of my regular blog readers have already gotten a glimpse at some of the amazing things that have happened recently at Henry Ford Hospital.

It all started with a community event to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which showcased some of the amazing choral talent in our city (and in our hospital), as well as a keynote address by Bankole Thompson, the senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle.

God's Hands of Praise performs at Henry Ford Hospital

If you have not heard Mr. Thompson speak, you have missed the brilliance of passionate commitment and challenge. Sam Logan, rest in peace; your charge will continue.

And the choirs from the Mosaic Singers, Detroit Rescue Mission, God’s Hands of Praise, and our own Martina Gifford and the Henry Ford Health System Choir stirred the blood as much as the soul.

Each year, this event is better than the last, and serves as an important reminder of how Dr. King’s visions and principles continue to drive and inspire us in the work we do every day. 

Only a few days later, our employees welcomed the Detroit Tigers 2012 Winter Caravan to our hospital. With Miguel Cabrara, Brennen Boesche and several other Tigers stars in attendance, we were reminded why baseball is such an important part of the growing excitement surrounding our city.

Ramon Santiago with Marla Hull, Inpatient Case Management.

Baseball is one of the constancies in American life (all respect to James Earl Jones and Field of Dreams).

Those of us around in 1968 know the way baseball and the Detroit Tigers calmed and soothed a battered city. 

Dr. King’s vision was seen in the stands of every home game, and showed us that how even in the most polarizing situation most of us are alike with common goals, aspirations, and dreams.

Countdown to Opening Day at Comerica Park: 11 weeks. Continue reading

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Frida Kahlo and Henry Ford Hospital

Since I started writing this blog in November 2010, I’ve covered a great deal of topics related to The Henry Ford Hospital, our patients and our employees, as well as my role as President and CEO.

It’s all been about what’s happening NOW and where we’re headed in the future.

But today I want to take a step back in time, so to speak, to take a closer look at – and even offer some new insight into – an important piece of our nearly 96-year history and Detroit’s rich Hispanic community.

I’m sure many of you have visited the Detroit Institute of Arts and viewed one of its most esteemed (and at times controversial) pieces – Detroit Industry.

Between 1932 and 1933, Mexican painter Diego Rivera was commissioned by Edsel Ford, the son of auto pioneer and our hospital’s founder, Henry Ford, to complete this famous series of 27 fresco panels.

This project also had another significant tie to Henry Ford Hospital: Diego Rivera’s wife and fellow artist, Frida Kahlo. Frida suffered a miscarriage while in Detroit with her husband, and she was hospitalized at Henry Ford Hospital.

The experience inspired Frida to paint one of her most recognized pieces, aptly named Henry Ford Hospital.

But there’s more to this story.

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