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.


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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The Happiness Advantage

Jack Butler, Surgical Imagineer in the Department of Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, emailed me after hearing me talk about the importance of patient centeredness.

Jack wrote: “I am lucky often to be allowed to slip in and listen to the adults talking. Your insight that the various interviewees never brought up the patients – the center of our world – made me think about how do we get off track and, how do we get back on. I chose to be a happy person. It made me smarter. Enjoy this and always start with a chart.”

In Jack’s email was a link to the above video. The TEDx talk in the video is by Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think, Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology.

What an entertaining and enlightening talk. I would like to share with you some of the points made.

Our positivity or negativity is the lens that our brain uses to view the world and shapes our reality. Often times we assume that the external world or successes determine our positivity or happiness.

Studies have demonstrated that if one knows everything about an individual’s external world, you can only predict the individual’s level of happiness by 10%. The vast majority of the time, the way your brain processes the world determines our level of happiness.

Studies have also shown a strong correlation of positivity leading to success.

Some of these studies suggest that whereas 25% of success is associated with intelligence or talent level, 75% is determine by positivity (Horn and Arbuckle, 1988) or happiness, optimal levels of social support, and ability to see stress as a challenge not a threat (Estrada, Isen, and Young, 1997).

Many of us, me included, have all been taught that if we work harder, we will be more successful, and, if we are more successful, we will be happier. This is likely incorrect. Continue reading

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