The importance of ethics in medicine today

Hospital ethics committees got their start in the early 1980s to guide decision making with patient care issues. Policy establishment was critical, especially when the issues of limitation of care, self-determination for health care, and privacy were venturing into nightly newscasts and private conversations. In the era of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, definitions of medical futility, legal battles over treatment decisions, and other high visibility events made the work of these committees even more important.

Dr. Fred Whitehouse and I co-chaired an ad hoc committee to create the first Henry Ford Hospital (HFH) Ethics Committee over 30 years ago. Our corporate attorney John Mucha was part of the committee at its inception. We were recently talking about this work, and he noted the HFH policy on withdrawal of care, modeled loosely on a Massachusetts General Hospital policy, is a policy that withstood the test of time. Literally hundreds of difficult decisions were made with its guidance.

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The Legends Interviews: Dr. Mani Menon

Henry Ford Hospital President and CEO Dr. John Popovich, Jr. launches a new chapter in the Interviews in Front of the Living Wall series with the Legends Interviews. In this segment, Dr. Popovich interviews Dr. Mani Menon, Chairman of the Henry Ford Hospital Department of Urology and Director of the Vattikuti Urology Institute.

Dr. Menon discusses the minimally invasive surgical procedure he developed that treats prostate cancer utilizing robotic technology and other innovations in prostate surgery.

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Celebrating National Doctors’ Day

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
– Henry Ford

This Saturday, March 30, we’ll honor and celebrate the work of physicians who serve our communities as part of National Doctors’ Day.

While it officially became a day of national recognition in 1991, the observance of National Doctors’ Day dates back to March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia, when Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set a day aside to honor physicians.

Nearly 60 years later, President George H.W. Bush signed Proclamation 6253, establishing National Doctors’ Day to “recognize our Nation’s physicians for their leadership in the prevention and treatment of illness and injury…”

Traditionally, people celebrate the day by thanking their physicians, mailing greeting cards, or sending flowers.

The red carnation is commonly associated with the National Doctors’ Day. The first observance in 1933 included the mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors. Continue reading

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Achieve in 2013

How’s that New Year’s resolution going so far? Are you eating healthier, spending more time at the gym, or finally writing the Great American Novel?

We all know that February can be a time when our resolutions begin to wane. You put in a pretty good effort for the first six weeks of the year, right?

So for those seeking motivation to carry on with their 2013 resolutions, I want you to watch this video:

Employees from across our hospital campus are working to ACHIEVE their 2013 goals – both personally and professionally. Continue reading

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The 100th Blog Post

Henry Ford Hospital’s 100th anniversary is still two years away, but here’s something we can celebrate now: The 100th blog post on Doc in the D.

While it comes with a little less fanfare than our planned celebration in 2015, it’s still an important milestone in our journey at Henry Ford Hospital.

I’ve been blogging since 2010 when I became the President and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital. I saw this blog as an opportunity to share with our employees and the community my experiences running a hospital that serves as a national leader and a beacon of hope in our city.

It’s also given me a chance to share YOUR stories; the people on our campus who work so hard every day to provide the best care and support to our patients and their families.

I’m really looking forward to the next 100 posts. Thank you for reading Doc in the D!

Here’s a look back at the first 100 blog posts on Doc in the D:

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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.)

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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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