Expanding Medicaid in Michigan

Henry Ford Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer, Gwen Gnam, lent her voice and her more than 34-years of nursing experience to an important topic facing our state: The expansion of Medicaid in Michigan.

Gwen took part in the Michigan Health & Hospital Association’s campaign to expand Medicaid, sharing her story as a registered nurse in this video:

The decision of how federal money will be spent impacts our patients and our hospital.

The Expand Medicaid coalition – made up of Michigan hospitals, mental health care providers, physicians, community-based health centers, health plans, human service organizations and others – urges the state Legislature to join with Gov. Rick Snyder to expand Medicaid as states are authorized to do under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). 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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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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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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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.

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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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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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Holiday Tradition

Henry Ford Hospital lobby, 1950.

Henry Ford Hospital lobby, 1950.

For many of us, the holidays are all about tradition, be it a gift given every year, a special dinner or dessert, or a trip to see family.

Even at Henry Ford Hospital, we’ve maintained certain holiday traditions for decades, putting up decorations and a tree in our main lobby, as you can see from this photo (right) from 1950.

But tradition extends far beyond the holiday season.

At Henry Ford, we have a nearly 100-year tradition of Detroit pride, clinical excellence and treating each and every one of our patients as if they were members of our own family.

For some, there’s even a tradition of working the holiday shift to give colleagues the opportunity to celebrate with their loved ones. Thank you for being there.

Henry Ford Hospital lobby, 2012.

Henry Ford Hospital lobby, 2012.

I will be seeing those of you working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as I make rounds with my family.

Having worked so many years on the holidays, I fully realize your personal sacrifice on these days when you would like to be home with your family and loved ones.

Thank you to each and every one of the Henry Ford team members for being here and always giving your best.

Your work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

I, along with my leadership team, see first-hand your hard work and your continued effort to make Henry Ford Hospital stand out among the rest. Continue reading

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Get Ready, ‘Cause Here We Come!’

I love Motown.

Both the City and the music.

Smokey, Marvin, Supremes, Mary Wells, Four Tops, Temptations. I grew up on this music. It gave me pride, and I listened and danced to it when I was a kid (in a previous century).

How great is it that Hitsville USA (the Motown Museum) is down the street from Henry Ford Hospital on the Boulevard? The Motown sound defines Detroit and is a rich part of the history of the city. Just like Henry Ford Hospital.

So when we were looking for a song to use in this year’s employee video for the annual Grand Ball hospital fundraiser, a Motown hit was an obvious choice.

I know one of our competitors has used a Four Tops number to be part of their marketing program. I applaud their taste and their use of “Detroit Products, Detroit Pride.”

But for our video, we found a hit that is enduring and not only highlights our Motown connection, but signifies the future of health care at Henry Ford, in that:

– Change is coming
– We are ready
– We are Henry Ford
– Get ready, ‘cause here we come!’

The above video received laughs, cheers and applause at last weekend’s Grand Ball. And it’s no surprise; the video features members our talented, positive and amazing health care team at Henry Ford Hospital.

Before you comment on the dancing of the CEO, I want to point out: Continue reading

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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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