Loren B. Hamel, MD - President, Spectrum Health Lakeland |
Nov 23, 2021
I have to admit it. That’s not a word I often hear.
I do hear a lot of positive comments about the health care experience at Spectrum Health Lakeland. And despite the most challenging conditions we have ever faced, I am so pleased that those positive comments continue. But I don’t believe that I’ve ever heard a patient describe their care as “mind blowing.” Let me explain.
Laurie was driving down M-139. The light turned green and she pulled into the intersection. A truck T-boned her, deployed all of her airbags, totaled her car, and fractured her leg. Laurie, broken and battered, was brought to Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, by ambulance.
Given her injury she was wheeled straight into the ED. Sadly, we had no open rooms, a condition that has become all too frequent here and across the country. Laurie spent her entire stay with us in a wheelchair.
Laurie was positioned right next to the nurses’ station. From that vantage point she could see, and hear, everything that goes on in an incredibly busy ED.
She described the experience to me in detail.
It was one of the busiest and most chaotic environments she had ever seen or could ever imagine.
Yet, it was the “best care” she had ever experienced. The doctors, nurses, X-ray, and others were so “focused, calm, professional, and caring.”
Given her front row (wheelchair) seat she could see all the staff interactions. In her decades of business experience, she had never seen a team communicate more clearly, work more collaboratively, and all the while do everything they could do to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those receiving care.
And despite the chaotic and overcrowded conditions she also marveled at the number of smiles, still apparent under masks, and the twinkles in eyes.
As this brutal COVID year winds down, as we contemplate what we’ve been through and what we are thankful for at home and at work, I am incredibly grateful for each one of you.
We have never worked so hard, and for so long, and under such incredible challenges. It is “amazing” (another word frequently used by Laurie) that we can deliver care like that every day. I feel blessed to live in a place where that kind of care is so consistently available. And I feel so very blessed to be part of this amazing team.
If you would like to read more of Message from the President, click here