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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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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Every Vote Counts

Tuesday, Nov. 6  is an important day for all.

Patient Bernie Mack with hospital volunteer Lizette W. on Monday during the Bedside Voting Project.

It is a day that can change the course of our nation, merely by what you choose to do on that day.

Many in our country may be disillusioned by politics.  Many may feel that an individual vote may not matter in a sea of other voters in a national election.

I will not bore you with the details of the times in which one person, one action or one vote changed the course of an election or the course of history.

Others have fought, been imprisoned and died for the right to vote.  Each of our votes are a critical acknowledgment of the importance of those sacrifices.

I do not care for whom you vote.

I trust in the collective wisdom of our people to choose wisely and in the best interest of our City, State and Nation.

My message is simple: Take time to vote on Tuesday.

The voting process is so vital that Henry Ford Hospital has taken major efforts to ensure our patients who are hospitalized on election day can still get out their vote.

Our volunteers on Monday assisted countless patients with emergency ballot applications, faxing it to the patient’s respective clerk’s office where a ballot is generated, and then driving to the clerk’s office to pick up the ballot and returning the sealed ballot after the patient completes it.

It’s quite an amazing process.

I want to thank all of our volunteers and staff  involved with the bedside voting project for their work to make every vote count this election.

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