Ness Ed

Ed Ness

Munson Healthcare’s greatest asset is its people.

While Labor Day is now behind us, I still want to salute the more than 9,000 Munson Healthcare staff, physicians, and volunteers who provide high-quality compassionate health care in every season and around the clock in the communities we serve in northern Michigan. They are professionals who on a daily basis give of themselves to the needs of others. Many of these staff go above and beyond to ensure our patients and their families feel comfortable and cared for on days that can be daunting.

We’re always thankful when people write back to share how their experience encouraged them and allowed them to get back to something amazing in their lives.

In Cadillac, a patient recently shared that “the ER staff, the doctor, and his nurse, saved my life. I had a bad blood infection and they saved me, took care of me and treated me with care. This is the greatest staff I have ever dealt with. … They treated me with dignity at my lowest point and helped me when I was upset!”

At Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, a patient wrote to thank the staff for a recent open house that showed off the hospital’s new medical pavilion and also thanked staff for their great care. “I have trouble giving blood and they are very careful and take care to do their jobs well. I recently had a CT scan and all went very well. Thanks to all.”

Another family whose loved one experienced care in Otsego Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department wrote thanking a nurse for her efforts: “(The patient) was very sick and in a lot of pain … we appreciate you taking the time to make sure she was comfortable, cared for, and medically taken care of, as well as making sure we were well informed about what was going on with her and the procedures that needed to be done. You were compassionate with her, which was nice to see from the family’s perspective.”

A patient at Munson Medical Center’s Emergency Department wrote to thank a nurse in that department: “Thank you for your thoughtful and compassionate care while I was at Munson. You stand out in a field dedicated to caring about health. Keep being you and helping those coming to Munson and seeking care.”

Another family member of a patient wrote to thank a telephone operator who fields dozens of calls daily from around the region and country to connect callers with the appropriate department or person in the health system. The writer “was trying to reach my 86-year-old dad who was admitted while on vacation, and I wasn’t sure exactly what hospital, floor, or doctor he was seeing. She took the time to assist me and helped answer all of my questions as I was calling from New York.”

A patient’s family also wrote to thank a Munson Medical Center cafeteria staff member for his kindness. “We’ve had a rough few weeks struggling with (their relative’s) illness and this is our third day in the Traverse City hospital. (The staff member’s) warmth and helpfulness in the Munson Medical Center cafeteria brightened my morning. The little things make a huge difference, especially during troubled times. And he made me a great omelet, too!”

The wife of a patient on one of Munson Medical Center’s medical floors also typed a note to the floor’s staff to share her thoughts about his care: “I would like to extend a thank you for the care you provided for my husband. Great personalities, knowledgeable, and very helpful in teaching my husband how to give his own insulin shots,” she wrote.

Our intention at Munson Healthcare is to keep each patient at the center of all we do. I am grateful for all of our staff who make that a reality in so many ways every day and in every season.

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

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