My day-to-day can get pretty overwhelming at times and every best laid out plan just doesn't come to fruition some days. But on the days that I am able, I enjoy my rounds throughout the hospital. I take those morning strolls to get a feel of how our staff are feeling and to interact with patients and their families.
This morning while on the Med/Surg unit, I was stopped twice: one by a local family and another from the Dallas metroplex.
The local family told me they have followed the hospital for some time and summed their observations as, "Boy, you had your hands full coming here." We shared stories of days gone by and challenges they knew of and I shared instances of great accomplishment here. It gave me an opportunity to highlight some of my phenominal team and their dedication to this hospital and commuity. I left that patients room with a sense of pride when as I was leaving she said, "Mr. Whitfield, you wouldn't know this, but I have prayed for you and our hospital." I thanked her and began to leave when she said, "Can I give you a hug?"
On another hall, a patient here from the Dallas metroplex I assume, was accompanied by his son. The gentleman stopped me and said, "You're the CEO?" I joked with him and told him I had been referred to as that and sometimes worse. We chuckled and he told me that he was here visiting his loved one in the hospital and bragged on our nurses and care staff. He said he visited our cafe each day he has been here and bragged on the food. We talked about fishing and such and as I began to mosey on my way he said to me, "This isn't Dallas, sir."
He talked about a recent stay at a Dallas area hospital and how that hospital has every kind of surgeon, cardiologist - you name it - on speed dial. He said he always receives good care there but because of the size there is something missing: relationships. No one gets to know you he said. Like robots, "they get you well and their on to the next guy."
Both of these testimonies blessed my heart. It is my sincere hope that there is a human side to everything we do here and that in some way, no matter how small, we make an impact in the lives of not just the people who work here, but the patients and families who seek care here. You're right, sir, "this isn't Dallas."
I continue to be proud of this hospital and the men and women who clock in each morning and evening with a drive to provide compassionate and competent care to this community. We are a family at McCurtain Memorial Hospital. My hope is that every time you find yourself here, or a loved one, you feel like family, too.