Modern Innovation, Historic Building

On the Henry Ford Hospital Campus, we have some incredible historic buildings that we see and work in every day.

The main hospital, Clara Ford Pavilion and the “M” building are a few of the structures that have been part of the Campus for decades.

1925-SON-(42593)

The Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing Dedication, 1925. In attendance were Henry Ford, Clara J. Ford, Edsel B Ford, Eleanor Clay Ford, Dr. Frank J. Sladen, Professor C.E.Winslow, nursing director, Katherine G. Kimmick, R.N. and other nursing staff members.

Did you know that the “M” building was once part of the original construction developed for the first Detroit General Hospital?

Through the years, our Facilities team, using their creativity and expertise, has been able to upgrade, resurface and restore many historic parts of the Campus.

Before: The former gym during construction.

Before: The former gym during construction.

In fact, the four base floors of the hospital units (I-H-A-B-F) were completed in the early 1920s; the floors currently provide support for the inpatient units residing on those floors.

The Clara Ford Pavilion’s first floor conference room in the Department of Medicine shows the grandeur of the old construction, and how restoration and modern upgrades can create spectacular results. Anyone who has been to Europe has seen what is possible for structures even older than ours.

When we were looking to house our Innovation Institute, we wanted to place it prominently on Campus.

After: The Innovation Institute.

After: The Innovation Institute.

Since Clara Ford Pavilion currently is being used for departmental and physician offices, the Education (“Old Ed”) building, located next door, seemed to match our needs.

The “Old Ed” building was designed between 1923-1925 by the Detroit architect Albert Kahn to house the teaching and recreational facilities for the nurses and hospital staff.

The dedication in 1925 was held in the second floor gymnasium, which also functioned as an auditorium (see archival photo above). Continue reading

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2-Year Anniversary, Part 1: Celebrating What We’ve Accomplished

 

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Driving Innovation (and an Electric Car) in Detroit

When I last met up with Frank Venegas, we were at the Detroit Institute of Arts talking about Frida Kahlo and her ties to Frank’s family, as well as Henry Ford Hospital.

Henry Ford Hospital also has something else in common with Frank and his company, Ideal Group:  a focus on innovation in Detroit.

One of Ideal Group’s customers, General Motors, is responsible for creating one of the bigger innovations to recently come out of Detroit – the Chevy Volt, a plug-in, range-extended electric vehicle with an on-board gasoline generator.

Not only did Frank show support for GM’s innovation by buying two Chevy Volts, he’s also been documenting his driving experience on his blog, “Frank’s V in the D.”

Frank’s even been handing the key fob (no keys needed for the Volt) to business colleagues in Detroit, giving them the chance to test-drive this game-changing product.

I recently had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Frank’s Volt. (And, yes, it does comfortably seat someone taller than 6 ft.)

I thought that one of the best ways to really test the car’s electric charge and gas mileage – and continue the conversation about innovation – was to drive to a few Henry Ford sites in and around Detroit, where innovation is changing how we care for our patients.

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If You Build It, They Will Innovate

When you type “innovation in Detroit” into a Google search, the results are a rather interesting mix of links about our city’s history (mostly related to automotive) and articles both doubting and touting the future potential of innovation creating new businesses, products and jobs in Detroit.

One link in particular that stood out was an article published a few years ago in the Huffington Post. The headline: Detroit – Innovation City?

And it’s a fair question. With all that Detroit has weathered, can a few scattered ideas change its image, create a hub for talent and develop a solid strategy for revival?

Today, we have an answer to that question: The Innovation Institute at Henry Ford, which officially opens today (Oct. 10) on the Henry Ford Hospital campus.

The Innovation Institute is an important step forward in creating an environment to foster new ideas in medicine, as well as find creative solutions to identify best processes in patient care.

But we aren’t taking the traditional route to innovation.

Think of it this way: Many of you have probably looked at some product in the hospital, your home, or other parts of your life and said, “I think this would work better if it was designed like this (insert your idea here).”

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Steven Paul Jobs, 1955-2011

On the brink of the opening of the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, we honor the passing of one of the greatest innovators of our time.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
– Steve Jobs, 2005

Wisdom.  Rest in peace.

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One Year

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