Detroit Top 10

The “Walk in My Shoes” experience with Delise Baker, a member of our concierge team at Henry Ford Hospital, inspired me to think about some of my favorite local spots in and around Detroit.

The DIA is No. 1 on my Top 10 list for places to see in Detroit. What’s your No. 1 pick for Detroit?

After all, one of the questions asked of every concierge – whether working at a hospital or a hotel – is “where should I visit while I’m in town?”

So here are two of my “Top 10” lists, one containing locations within Detroit city limits, and the other venturing out into the surrounding area of metro Detroit.

Feel free to add some of your favorite Detroit and metro Detroit locations in the comments section below.

Top 10 Things to See in the City of Detroit

1. The Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave.)

2. Belle Isle (8109 East Jefferson Ave.)

3. Eastern Market (2934 Russell St.)

4. Fisher Building (3011 West Grand Blvd.)

5. Riverfront Walk (600 Renaissance Center)

6. Motown Historic Museum (2648 West Grand Blvd.)

Continue reading

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At Your Service

Ever show up at a new location for an important event or meeting, maybe a new city, say a hotel or large office building, and your first response is: “Where am I, and where do I go?”

I certainly have (unfortunately that is happening to me even when I go to an old location!).

No map or sign ever seems to be good enough to navigate, although I do like instructions like “follow the yellow arrow.” 

Isn’t it great when someone takes the time to direct you and escort you to where you need to go?

Coming to a large, hospital in an unfamiliar city to navigate your way through an already complex System, is … quite frankly, overwhelming.

As we work toward making it simple to get around a very large institution like Henry Ford Hospital, we have learned from the hotel industry that there is no substitute for a person to help patients through an anxiety.

Regardless of where you’re traveling, it is not uncommon to be assisted by a concierge team when checking into your hotel. You may be greeted by a concierge member who shares with you any necessary information you may need for your stay and he or she is available at any time to answer your questions and concerns.

When coming to a new hospital and clinic, this type of service is vital to lessen the stress and make sure the patient and family can concentrate on the medical issues and return to health.

I was given the opportunity to shadow Delise Baker, one of Henry Ford Hospital’s concierge members  from the Referring Physician’s Office.

With approximately 40 percent of outstate growth patients coming to the hospital from more than 35 miles away, this is not only an added customer service amenity for our patients – it’s a necessity. Continue reading

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Q: What Do You Hope to Accomplish?

I am going to ask you a question.

You have 15 seconds to answer it:

Looking back on your career and life 20 or 30 years from now, what do yo want to say you’ve accomplished?  Go.

Here’s my response to the question:

I want to have moved Henry Ford Hospital to greater national prominence for excellence in health care and transformed our immediate neighborhood into a vibrant safe and enriching community.

Now it’s your turn.

Please post your responses below in the comments section.

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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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The Annual Quality Expo

This week marked Henry Ford Health System’s 21st Annual Quality Expo.

The Quality Expo, hosted at Henry Ford Hospital, offers an opportunity for all of Henry Ford Health System to showcase the innovations and improvements made by our employees, departments and hospitals in the areas of health care quality, patient safety and care delivery.

Leo, a therapy dog at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, is one of the most remarkable therapists that I have ever encountered. Leo and HFWH’s Pet Therapy Program were featured at the Quality Expo.

Henry Ford is the only health care provider in southeast Michigan to host such an event.

The Quality Expo’s features 70 projects, all of which are aimed at reducing medical errors and improving patient safety, quality and satisfaction.

As always at this event, I was truly impressed, as I walked through the poster presentations and spoke with colleagues, by the tremendous work being done by our health care teams to continuously enhance quality and safety throughout the system.

I did stop to see one of our employees, Leo, a therapy dog at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.

Leo is one of the most remarkable therapists that I have ever encountered.  He is calm, friendly, and extraordinarily soothing, and part of a great program of pet therapy throughout our System.  Within minutes of being with him, all of my concerns and anxieties were gone.

(Of course, my own dog, Co Co, previously feature in Doc In the D, continues to be the one I confide in the most.  Co Co’s colleague, Mr. Mo, aka Uncle Mo, provides coverage as needed. Sometimes both are needed to “treat” me.)  Continue reading

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Every Vote Counts

Tuesday, Nov. 6  is an important day for all.

Patient Bernie Mack with hospital volunteer Lizette W. on Monday during the Bedside Voting Project.

It is a day that can change the course of our nation, merely by what you choose to do on that day.

Many in our country may be disillusioned by politics.  Many may feel that an individual vote may not matter in a sea of other voters in a national election.

I will not bore you with the details of the times in which one person, one action or one vote changed the course of an election or the course of history.

Others have fought, been imprisoned and died for the right to vote.  Each of our votes are a critical acknowledgment of the importance of those sacrifices.

I do not care for whom you vote.

I trust in the collective wisdom of our people to choose wisely and in the best interest of our City, State and Nation.

My message is simple: Take time to vote on Tuesday.

The voting process is so vital that Henry Ford Hospital has taken major efforts to ensure our patients who are hospitalized on election day can still get out their vote.

Our volunteers on Monday assisted countless patients with emergency ballot applications, faxing it to the patient’s respective clerk’s office where a ballot is generated, and then driving to the clerk’s office to pick up the ballot and returning the sealed ballot after the patient completes it.

It’s quite an amazing process.

I want to thank all of our volunteers and staff  involved with the bedside voting project for their work to make every vote count this election.

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Relationships in Medicine

“Anything happen in your day? Anything new happening at work?”

After an extended deliberate process by leadership of Beaumont Health System and our own, Henry Ford Health System, leadership of both organizations announced a plan Wednesday to begin exclusive negotiations to create a new organization merging our operations into a new organization, to serve as a new model of health care delivery.

From left: Beaumont CEO Gene Michalski; HFHS CEO Nancy Schlichting; Beaumont CMO Dr. Ananias Diokno; Me; HFHS Board of Trustees Chair Sandy Pierce; and Beaumont Board of Trustees Chair Steve Howard at Wednesday’s press conference.

The Boards for Henry Ford and Beaumont approved a letter of intent to develop this new organization, and to enter a period of negotiations and due diligence to determine how best to bring the systems together. The goal is to create a definitive agreement for approval in the first half of 2013.

So when we go home and our spouse asks what happened at work today, we can say something more than, “Nothing, really.”

Here are comments I shared at the press conference announcing this event…

Medicine and health care create strong relationships.

Through those relationships, Henry Ford has had a long history of collaborating with Beaumont on patient care, education and research.

Many Beaumont physicians and my colleagues, including me, cared for patients together, patients who received their health care in both systems, systems with histories of clinical strength and deeply shared values.

Combining these two national leaders in clinical excellence and patient safety will transform our focus from not only healing the sick but to keeping people and our communities healthy.

The prospect of what we can do together for patients is exciting, especially opportunities to improve population health through quality, safety, integration and premier clinical programs.

This partnership can provide:

  • A comprehensive service offering to our patients with ample coverage throughout the full spectrum of medical specialties,  as well as
  • Greater access to care with broad selection of clinical sites close to home wherever you live in Southeastern Michigan.

With the installation to the EPIC electronic medical record throughout Henry Ford, both Beaumont and Henry Ford will have a common integrated medical record across all clinical sites.

  • With a common electronic medical record, patients will always be treated by a clinician who knows their history, no matter which site they visit, because their patient records will be at the clinician’s fingertips.
  • This common electronic record enhances patient safety, reduces duplication of test and services, and increase patient satisfaction.

Today’s announcement follows months of study and deliberation by both organizations on how to continue their nationally recognized industry leadership in the face of the changing health care environment. Continue reading

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Rallying the Detroit Food Trucks

I was looking at an email blast last July promoting the 20th Anniversary of the Concert of Colors at the Max M. Fisher Music Center.

Rather than being drawn to the great artists like the Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue, Tito Puentes and George Clinton, I immediately looked at the Detroit-based food trucks that would be attending the concerts.

You can see how Maslow’s hierarchy works in the Popovich brain: Physiological needs (food, drink), stop there.

You also know that I love the past, and food trucks make me think of the great experiences I had when I was younger, in a distant century, far, far away.

Trucks like “the ice cream truck.” Ice cream just tasted better after running headlong to the curb and waving down the driver who looked like Steve Buscemi on a bad day.  Creamsicle, ice cream sandwiches – wow!

Or, seeing the food trucks outside of the auto plants (my grandfather called them “car shops”), serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Big men, gathered around the truck, to get coffee, donuts, sandwiches and the latest gossip before going on or off shift.

So the convergence of these needs, memories and Detroit-based pride created the idea: Henry Ford Hospital Food Truck Rally.

After a bit of thought and negotiation, our first rally happened on a cool, crisp fall day on the tennis courts on our hospital campus.

It’s not every day you can walk outside for lunch and enjoy some of Detroit’s finest, homemade food truck cuisine: spinach pierogi, braised beef short rib tacos, cookie monster ice cream and lightly fried dill pickle spears calledfrickles.”

While the above mentioned foods are certainly not on my published list of essential food groups for hospital employees, I may be willing to modify that previous pyramid to include the culinary delights of People’s Pierogi Collective, Treat Dreams, Concrete Cuisine and Jacques’ Tacos. Continue reading

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To Colbert, With Love from Detroit

An invitation to Stephen Colbert to come to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit

Dear Mr. Colbert:

I am a particular fan of your political commentary. You appear to be much more insightful than other television personalities, such as Bill O’Reilly and Rachel Maddow, although both of them seem to interject greater humor into their shows.

What I do like is your emphasis on Detroit in your comments. I particularly like the way in which you use satire to emphasize the great aspects of this city. Bravo!

See more great photos of Detroit, like the one posted above at HFH, on Facebook.

Clearly, your admiration of our city is drawing you and your entourage to “The D.” I heard several Detroiters had created a light-hearted and fun social media group called “Colbert Does Detroit (and so can you!)” aimed at bringing Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and you to Detroit.

I felt it was a great opportunity for me to invite you to Henry Ford Hospital to show our pride in the flagship of the Baldrige Award winning Henry Ford Health System and for the city that’s been our home since 1915.

We are in Midtown, where young people are moving in record numbers, revitalizing this part of the city, which includes Wayne State University, the Detroit Medical Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, Orchestra Hall, the Detroit Public Library, and numerous other cultural and social sites.

So, Mr. Colbert, I know you want to come to Detroit to experience these great things first hand, but perhaps need a bit more prompting.  You have an open invitation to come visit us.

Sincerely,

Dr. John Popovich, Jr.
CEO and President
Henry Ford Hospital

By the way, Henry Ford Hospital loves Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.” Really talented and funny guy!  Please give him our best!

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