My Gift, My Hero

“How do you thank somebody who has saved your life?”

It is a question often contemplated among organ donor recipients.

Many recipients devote their lives to giving back and taking care of their health. Some reach out to the donor family.

While others proudly (and bravely) share their stories, experiences, feelings and even fears as a transplant recipient with their communities to bring about awareness and to honor the individuals and families who made the decision to give the gift of life.

That’s just what members of our Transplant Living Community (TLC) Group at Henry Ford Hospital did recently in the above video shared at our annual Donor Memorial Ceremony which honors the families of organ donors.

TLC is a community comprised of transplant recipients and families who have known and experienced the tribulations of living with life-threatening illness prior to transplant, and have experienced success in the healing period that follows. Their experiences, reflections, and practical tips are helpful and comforting to those just beginning the transplant process.

The group also encourages recipients to make health their No. 1 priority. Something that, frankly, we could all learn from. 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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Leading the Way: The Future of Health Care

For the 2012 Henry Ford Hospital Grand Ball, we wanted to make a high-impact video that expresses the passion that we have for our great hospital’s past and its future.

Enter our creative partners from DBA. They donated their time and talent to create a video modeled after the popular TED talk format to serve as that vehicle.

Actors being far too expensive, we found someone else to read the lines. And read the lines…and read the lines. (How do actors do this every day?)

I hope the above video from the 2012 Grand Ball inspires, motivates and excites you about the future of health care at Henry Ford Hospital.

Change is coming, we are ready, we are Henry Ford Hospital.

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Honoring Dr. King with Service

“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I grew up in a time when there was a threat of weapons of mass destruction, an unpopular war in a far-away country, economic uncertainty, and violence amongst our people. I was influenced, as a child, by John F. Kennedy, who as President dared us to do what we could only dream.

Martin Luther King, Jr.As the years have passed, I am now more greatly influenced by another noble man, the most eloquent and articulate spokesman of peace and justice and one of the most courageous Americans of our time: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

He dared us to dream of what we could collectively be. His messages are as vibrant, powerful and meaningful today as they were nearly 50 years ago.

His life has special impact for me and every American, for he helped to free us of the illusion that we can somehow lift ourselves up by holding others down.

He filled a great void in our nation, and answered our collective longing to become a country that truly lives by its noblest principles.

He spoke to me when he preached that the yoke of oppression shackled the oppressor as well as the oppressed. He realized that oppression was more the result of a culture afraid of change than the result of hatred, and that the hearts and minds of well-intentioned moderates were more important to change than the actions of extremists.

He knew that a country could not truly be great when it did not live by its professed values, nor could any country truly be free when any of its people were not provided the freedoms and opportunities of the most privileged.

This was the same American dream that my Grandparents sought when they came to this country almost 100 years ago. Continue reading

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What We Can Achieve in 2013

“Be Great in Act; As You Have Been in Thought.”

— William Shakespeare

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Each year that I’ve been President and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital, I’ve made it a tradition to send my colleagues and my team a New Year’s card with a very special message.

In 2011, that message was BELIEVE. Our belief in our mission, each other, our work and our city is what drives our relationships and emotional engagement in what we do every day.

Our belief in what Henry Ford Hospital is, belief in who we are, each other, our work and our city.  This special role that we play, although not perfectly fulfilled at all times, is what drives our relationships and emotional engagement in what we do every day.  And health care is all about belief.

In 2012, I challenged our team to DREAM big, consider the thoughts and possibilities that our beliefs would create. Dream beyond the limits of our doubts, our fears and our reluctance.  Dream the dreams of our forefathers and our children. Dream about the greatness that can be created at Henry Ford Hospital and the Henry Ford Medical Group; true greatness that no one could argue.

And when you truly believe and your dreams do not place limits on yourself, it is time to ACHIEVE.

Each time, every patient, every encounter, everything that we do – ACHIEVE, the word that I hope will inspire all of us in our actions throughout 2013.

Below is my New Year’s card, which I now share with you.

Happy New Year!

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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.)

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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