Ed Ness

Ness

May is always an important month at Munson Healthcare. It’s when we celebrate the efforts of our Healthcare Team. After more than a year of heroic efforts during the pandemic, they deserve our heartfelt gratitude and applause.

Each year during National Hospital Week, which we refer to as Healthcare Team Week, we take a pause to recognize our staff. There is no doubt that the determination and dedication of staff across the nine hospitals, clinics and support organizations that represent Munson Healthcare has truly improved lives, especially when our communities, our neighbors, or perhaps even when the person reading this column needed us most.

I have appreciated letters to the editor thanking staff for their efforts. Those words of gratitude and thanks have kept our teams going as we have adapted to the everchanging needs of this pandemic. Reading what you have written to honor our healthcare heroes is both rewarding and humbling.

It truly takes a team to provide high quality care on the front lines of our hospital, clinics and private homes. Our support staff prepare delicious, healthy meals for our patients, visitors and staff; help keep all our facilities clean and safe; and work behind the scenes to support quality, safety, technical or business operations. All of this is important work that enhances patient experiences, safety and quality in the organization.

It is also important not to forget about our volunteers. The pandemic has changed the way they serve, but their role remains as important as ever.

One of those individuals is Ray Weber, a volunteer at Cowell Family Cancer Center since 2017. On May 20, he will turn 100 years old. He is a member of the “greatest generation” and served our nation during World War II as a member of a battalion building bridges across German rivers to help the allies with the war. When asked about his longevity, he responded: “I don’t look back much, I keep looking forward.”

What a great attitude and a good reminder that positivity, kindness and serving others can keep us going. I’ve always been optimistic that we have a great future ahead of us, and by helping each other and working together, we will overcome the challenges of the pandemic — and be stronger for having endured it.

I also want to recognize that despite the added stresses and pressures of the pandemic, the Healthcare Team has achieved national recognition that is for the care they provide.

Munson Healthcare hospitals in Cadillac and Grayling received “A” grades from Leapfrog during its spring quality reporting. Our hospitals in Cadillac, Gaylord and Traverse City received top five-star ratings from CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). For Cadillac Hospital, it was the sixth such rating in a row. And Cadillac Hospital was also recently named among the top 20 rural hospitals in the nation by the National Rural Health Association. Cadillac Hospital is the only hospital in Michigan on the top 20 list.

These quality efforts reflect again a focused and caring staff who are doing their best to ensure everyone who comes to a Munson Healthcare facility receives safe, trusted care — because we are here for you when you need us.

At Munson Healthcare we continue to look and move forward to meet the challenges ahead. We are thankful for the ongoing support from all of you. Thank you for helping us celebrate Healthcare Team Week and all the healthcare heroes in our communities.

Want to share an encouraging word for our healthcare team this week? Just go to munsonhealthcare.org/patients-visitors/recognize-a-staff-member.

Ed Ness is president and chief executive officer of Munson Healthcare.

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