Border-to-Border Teamwork Gets Patient Back on the Ice

Earlier this year, I shared a story about Jaime McDermott, the Leamington Flyer assistant coach who crossed the border for life-saving surgery for an ascending aortic aneurism at Henry Ford Hospital.

And I’m not just bringing up this story again because it’s an opportunity to talk about hockey while we await the return of our players to Hockeytown.

Mr. McDermott returned this week to Leamington District Memorial Hospital, to celebrate his incredible recovery and thank the staff there and the staff at Henry Ford Hospital – the two teams that worked together to ensure he would remain a vibrant husband, father, coach, and member of the Leamington community.

This story stands as great example of our relationship with the Canadian health care system. Henry Ford Hospital is ready to provide the best of care to the sickest of patients when alternatives cannot be provided from Canadian resources.

Following Mr. McDermott’s recovery, I sent a letter to Terry Shields, the acting-CEO of Leamington District Memorial Hospital.

In it, I wrote about what we often refer to as the “Miracles on the Boulevard.” These miracles are the product of many individuals, from first responders, to emergency personnel, to transporters, to customs agents, to the treating surgeons, physicians, and nurses.

The story behind the diagnosis, treatment, and eventual dramatic recovery is a tribute to all of these individuals, who, if there was delay or misstep in any part of the process, would not have created the opportunity for Mr. McDermott to be celebrated today. Continue reading

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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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The Affordable Care Act & Henry Ford

What does the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act mean to Henry Ford Hospital and Henry Ford Health System, and our patients?

The law has been in effect for two years and Henry Ford has been meeting the necessary steps to comply with the provisions of the law affecting us and our patients.

Doc in the “DIV.” The end of this post includes links to my local news interviews about ACA.

The ruling on Thusday supported the constitutionality of the ACA.

Some of the most controversial aspects of the law are scheduled to be implemented in 2014. Two of these components, mandated insurance and extension of Medicaid, were major subjects of the Court’s ruling.

Mandated insurance was supported as part of the tax provision, that is, failure to adhere to obtaining or providing insurance will be subject to tax penalties.

Without the insurance mandate, the insurance exchanges or pools would likely have fewer healthier enrollees, meaning insurance rates for policies purchased through the exchange would need to be much higher to support costs.

Expansion of Medicaid was left to states wtihout Federal threat of withholding all Medicaid dollars for not extending.

The ruling has brought some “certainty” to the constituionality of the law. This is a certainty that must be looked at through the lens of continued political polarization, the fall elections, threats of repeal of the law in the 2013 Congress, business and personal reaction, and implementation at the state and delivery system level.

But, importantly, this ruling allows Henry Ford to continue to make positive reforms to the country’s health care system, through our efforts to integrate care, reduce costs, increase access and make advances in medical technology, treatment and hospital care.

The ACA means the possibility of extending Medicaid to the nearly 500,000 uninsured people in Michigan, as well as extending additional benefits to lower income familes through insurance exchanges.

The implementation in 2014 also strikes denial of insurance to those patients with pre-exisiting illness. Families will continue to cover their adult children on family policies up to the age of 26.

By expanded coverage for uninsured and low-income patients, the act may help to provide economic relief to Henry Ford’s growing burden of uncompensated care.  In the past eight years uncompensated care at Henry Ford has doubled, from $111 million in 2003 to $210 million in 2011. Continue reading

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Doc in the B (Beijing)

One of the great opportunities presented to us as a world class hospital and system are the multiple requests for us to share our knowledge and expertise around the country and the world.

Our international reputation has brought delegations from many countries to learn about our institution and to use that knowledge to improve care in their own environments.

Several months ago, a team from Wuxi, China visited Henry Ford Hospital and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital to see how we approached our clinical care, wellness and general services. They had interest in developing facilities similar to ours and wanted to see firsthand the “Henry Ford Experience.”

In turn, several of us were invited to China to experience the health care system there, and better provide them with our opinions in how to transform lives and communities.

Before you say what a great little junket this was, I will let you know that three of us left on a Monday morning (after waiting eight hours at Metro Airport, only to have the flight delayed until the next morning), flew to Shanghai non-stop, traveled to Wuxi, flew to Beijing for one day, flew back to Shanghai (after waiting four hours due to a cancelled flight), got four hours sleep, flew to Tokyo and then back to the “D.”

I truly wasn’t sure if I was coming or going, and the jet lag seemed to last for the next week.

That being said, we established some great relationships, learned a great deal about health care in China and how this care is evolving.

All of this helps us to understand what our role can be in providing health care to our patients from the region, State, country, and beyond.

We had the opportunity to shoot a bit of video footage to give you a flavor of our trip, which is posted above.

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