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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Mar 16, 2017
Simple acts of kindness may seem trivial when shared but can have a huge positive impact on others who are stressed, in need, or in precarious situations. Three recent examples make the point.

On a beautiful balmy Naples winter afternoon as I was returning from a speaking engagement, Chief of Staff Kevin Cooper beckoned me to the Garden of Hope and Courage to view a patient in a hospital bed with ICU RN Janey Largen, Respiratory Therapist Wanda Jarvis and nursing student Mayte Flories.  All was under control medically with the patient’s breathing assisted by a portable respirator and an IV running.  A very unusual sight for sure.  The patient was positioned to overlook the beautiful pond with flowers in bloom, birds flying by, and the Naples “winter” on full display.  What’s the story?  I was told by Janie the patient had been inside our ICU for almost 100 days.  The patient’s wish was to get some fresh air.  Our ICU team makes wishes come true.  This picture is not typical ICU care, but I couldn’t be prouder of the compassion and ingenuity of our colleagues.  In addition to healing, our nurses comfort.

Chief Medical Officer Frank Astor and I were making rounds on the North Naples Campus late on a Wedneesday afternoon when the campus was overflowing with patients.  Acting Chief Nursing Officer (now our new CNO) Jon Kling and team were in high gear moving patients along to make room in the ER so that we stay functional and not log-jammed.  Normally a stressful situation, the staff was calm and “on the case.”  Chief Experience Officer Gary Tomcik and Director of Food Services Mark Flood arranged for sandwiches for the floors.

Dr. Astor and I had many conversations as we went from floor to floor.  As has been my custom for years, I typically share my calling card with families and patients as appropriate and ask, “Has everyone been nice to you?  Can I help you in any way?”  Later that night I receive the following emails inspiring this Straight Talk.    

Mr. Weiss—I just wanted to let you know how much it meant to me when you asked about my loved one (mother) today in the elevator at NCH.  My mother was brought into ER (North Naples) on Friday night with a broken hip.  Her care has been outstanding from the ER to the surgery to her room on the 5th floor.  In all my years of hospital and doctor visits, your few words in the elevator today may be the highest level of professionalism I have experienced.  While our encounter was brief, it made a lasting impression with me.  Thanks again.  May you continue to have a great week. 

Dr. Weiss—We met last night around 6 PM outside the ICU.  You were kind enough to stop and speak with my Mom.  This June she and my dad will have been married for over five decades and that longevity is in no small part due to the care he has received the past couple of years at NCH.  I cannot begin to express my gratitude for not only the care he has received but also for the kindness and compassion everyone has shown.  As I am sure you know, you are fortunate to have many qualified and caring professionals in your stead.  With much thanks.

One never knows what a difference a kind word or act makes.  We have a great team doing wonderful deeds—innovative compassion by taking an ICU patient on a “field trip,” snacks up the floors when slammed in the winter season, and simple expressions of sincere concern.  Helping everyone live a longer, happier, healthier life including ourselves starts with kindness.

Allen Weiss, MD

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.