Straight Talk - "Know, Feel, Do"

August 21, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Last week’s Straight Talk addressed the “Know, Feel, Do” spirit that permeates the professionals at NCH. That goes for our caregivers and clinicians in the “front of the house,” as well all of those wonderful support professionals who keep NCH humming.

And so, this week I’d like to report on my travels with one of those talented support people, Mario Miro, building engineer at North Naples Hospital. Mario gave me an inside look at this complex, powerful and effective campus we have, which is so well cared for by our Facilities Management colleagues, including Bill Sturgill, Pete Padillo, Ed Moulton (our resident locksmith who is retiring soon), and Craig Terrillion. Here’s how Mario and colleagues apply the “Know, Feel, Do” approach.

Know: You may be as surprised as I was that North Naples Hospital can be powered by three locomotive engines, which generate more than enough power for the entire campus and are ready in the event of an FPL power failure. These three generators are fed by two fuel tanks of 15,000 and 22,000 gallon capacity. We can stay at full power for days in the event of an emergency. The switch gear station, with its automatic transfers, circuit breakers, and meters look like a power plant and are connected to a huge computer screen for instant monitoring.

Our air conditioning is mission-critical, particularly in these hot summer months, and we have three chiller towers, one of which usually sits in reserve. There are four pumps to move the chilled water to 30 air handlers placed around the 325,000 square foot building. The master air conditioning computer board can override the temperature in any room or area in the facility, although individual controls are usually the primary determiners of a room’s temperature.

We also have three boilers and two more for the Birth Place, two hot water heaters, medical air and vacuum and medical gases for the operating room. And so important is our fire suppression system, painted red, with its huge capacity to put out hundreds of gallons of water in minutes.

Mario explained that our “know” is based on redundancy, creating an environment of safety, comfort, and quality for patient, family, and colleague satisfaction. Since we care for everyone from critically ill patients to babies in neonatal ICU, we can’t afford for our system ever to “go down,” and we have ample back-ups for the back-ups.

Feel: I watched as Mario greeted a Brookdale Rehabilitation patient, whose extra-long sophisticated electric bed wasn’t working. After a series of diagnostic checks and some appropriate entertainment for the patient (who welcomed the break in routine), the bed was fixed as good as new. Then Mario went onto changing the view on a patient’s TV. Not tricky technically at all, but very helpful for an elderly patient recovering from a stroke. Mario’s expertise might be mechanical, but his empathy and compassion and “feel” was entirely human.

Do: Finally, having the technical ability to care for the range of mechanical parts of a huge complex system in a way that makes the difficult look easy is the sign of an expert. And that, clearly, Mario is—another expert professional at NCH, helping all of us and our neighbors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Continuing with our support of others, please see me responding to the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” to raise awareness for ALS, a disease which continues to randomly devastate victims and families. (


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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