Straight Talk with Dr. Allen Weiss: The little things that make a big difference

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

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

— Everywhere you look, you find great people at NCH. Some of them are recognized formally and others very quietly. Here are two recent examples from the quiet side.

Security Officer John Coniceak relayed an uplifting story about Minnie Fryson, a Care Technician on 6S.

Last month, Minnie found a $100 bill on the sidewalk just across from the security office and the ambulance driveway. It was the middle of the night, with no one else outside except her and a coworker. She decided immediately to turn the money into security. Her feeling was that if someone really needed it, they would be back looking for it. John placed the money in a plastic bag with her name on it.

At 6:23 AM, a man approached the security office, upset and tired after being here all night in 2-North after his wife’s surgery. His said that at some point, anxiously walking around inside and outside, he lost a 100-dollar bill. A nurse suggested he go to security. He then described exactly the manner in which he had folded the bill, and John turned it over to him. With all that he was going through, and without this lost money, the husband would have been in even more distress. Said our security officer, after letting Minnie Fryson know about the turn of events, “Minnie did a great service here. She showed a heart of gold and she represents NCH at its best.”

Night ER Charge Nurse Eric Macino shared a letter from a cardiac arrest patient whom we treated with hypothermia (cooling) and sent to ICU back in April.

The patient wrote to thank all the ED nurses and staff for “all that we did” in saving his life and giving him “a second chance at life.” And in a postscript to the letter, he mentioned that his distraught wife came in wearing her pajamas and “a very caring woman behind the desk gave my wife her jacket to keep her warm.” This comfort came not from a doctor or nurse or social worker, but from unit secretary Susan Grube.

Eric remembers that night very well. “The patient’s wife said she would try to return the jacket to the secretary when she could get some regular clothes on, and she told me to thank her. Susan never mentioned to anyone that she gave the jacket to her. I told her that I thought that it was a nice gesture and that she may not see the jacket again. And she replied, ‘Yeah, I know, but she needed it more than I did.’”

To me, there are several powerful messages here, in the selfless stories about Minnie and Susan. The most important one is that we all impact, more than we realize, those we touch or come in contact with. It does not matter who you are or what your position is. Because in healthcare, sometimes it is “the little things” that really do make the difference.

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

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