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In This Issue:
During a year marked by unprecedented challenges, followed by a renewed spirit of national resolve, people throughout the nation banded together like never in history. BWH remained focused on its mission of providing quality patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, teaching the next generation of health care professionals and addressing the needs of its community. Easily lost amidst the tragedy of September was the culmination of achievements and milestones at BWH. This special issue of BWH Bulletin takes a look back at some of those special moments.
2001 began with the arrival of the JCAHO survey team in late January. Thanks to the diligence of the entire hospital community, BWH received another three-year accreditation from JCAHO. Also in January, BWH displayed its continuing commitment to leadership by announcing its second annual Dennis J. Thomson Leadership Award. Recipient Nancy Hickey, MS, RN, director of Personnel Resource Applications, embodies the ideal characteristics of leadership that were held high by the late Thomson and are still by the hospital as a whole.
In a quest to continually improve patient care, BWH showcased its new and relocated Day Surgery Unit Reception, Admitting and Recovery area in early 2001, featuring many amenities to meet the needs of day surgery patients and their families. In addition, the much-anticipated Robert and Ronnie Bretholtz Center for Patients and Families opened in the spring in honor of the late chairman of the hospital. The Center offers many informational, educational and emotional support services to BWH patients and their families. Shortly after the opening of the Bretholtz Center, BWH’s new thoracic ICU opened on 11C, which offers much needed additional ICU beds and the very latest amenities ranging from decentralized nursing stations to modern boom technology.
Alongside offering new and improved services to patients and their families, BWH clinicians shined once again this year as 72 BWH physicians were named as the best women’s health doctors in Boston and appeared in the February issue of Boston Magazine. BWH was also recognized for the ninth year in a row as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News and World Report in July.
Enforcing its commitment to Mission Hill and other surrounding neighborhoods, BWH took great strides in 2001 to solidify its strong relationship with the community. In addition to the fine health care services provided at BWH’s community health centers, the hospital became a “Corporate Buddy” to Mission Hill Main Streets. A growing number of BWH employees participated in the Brigham Book Buddies program and the hospital provided ongoing financial assistance from the annual United Way/Tobin School Fund, contributing nearly $45,000 to the Tobin School and approximately $68,000 to United Way, surpassing this year’s goals.
In 2001, BWH fostered a unique partnership with the Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (RTH) in a collaboration that has resulted in new opportunities for the hospital and its neighbors. The innovative partnership between BWH, Harvard Medical School and RTH has drawn acclaim from Mayor Tom Menino, as it preserves the affordable housing for members of the Mission Hill neighborhood and assists in the long-term growth needs of BWH.
Brigham and Women’s/Faulkner Hospitals continued to flourish, reinforcing the vision of affiliating a world-renowned teaching medical center with a top-notch community hospital in a way that has benefited both institutions. With an increase in surgeries and admissions and a growing number of specialty services now offered at Faulkner, 2002 should bring even more success.
In the midst of providing quality care and offering the very best medical services to patients in the appropriate setting, BWH has paid close attention to the emotional needs of staff as they carry out their roles. Quality Rounds—a new lecture series dedicated to communicating the many aspects of quality improvement and patient safety—and Schwartz Rounds—a series that concentrates on compassionate care in challenging patient care situations—have both shown much promise in helping clinicians make good decisions in complex and emotionally-charged patient care situations that they often encounter at BWH.
To better illustrate the lead BWH takes in patient care, research and teaching, a new and improved BWH website was unveiled in the spring.
BWH also received much attention in May, as it hosted the historic delivery of Governor Jane Swift’s twin daughters. BWH Security, the staff of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and BWH Public Affairs put forth a team effort to accommodate the highly publicized hospital stay of the first family of Massachusetts.
For the Governor and all patients, going above and beyond is what BWH does best. Two extra special examples of this came when 7D hosted a special wedding for a patient and his fiancé and when staff rallied to bring a young patient awaiting a heart transplant to a Red Sox game at Fenway. These are only two examples of many in which several departments came together to go above and beyond to address more than just the clinical needs of patients.
Complementing extraordinary patient care, was an impressive year in research that ended on a high note when the Research Council announced in November the $247 million in research expenditures in FY 01 and another $525 million in future commitments. In addition, the BWH-based Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) celebrated 25 years of groundbreaking research in June. The NHS continues to unveil findings that assist today’s women and those of future generations to make smart decisions regarding their lifestyles and health.
On September 11, tragedy struck our nation. As all people struggled to make sense of the day’s events and the heartbreaking aftermath, BWH staff stood together as a united health care team to do what we do best—save lives, improve patients’ quality of life, conduct cutting edge research and train the next generation of health care professionals.
BWH staff stepped up to the plate to address the lingering threat of bioterrorism. The events and circumstances following the tragedies of September 11 put BWH and hospitals across the nation on high alert. BWH effectively responded, boosting preparedness and communicating pertinent information to its staff and colleagues.
As a nation mourned, there was still work to be done at BWH and all staff showed their perseverance as they met the challenge. Focusing on addressing quality of worklife issues, BWH rolled out its second Staff Survey in September. In addition, the five teams established in response to the hospital’s first 1999 Staff Survey developed action plans to follow-up on the first survey’s results. The 2001 Staff Survey results will be announced in early 2002.
At a time when philanthropic gifts to medical centers are so pivotal, BWH proudly announced that it surpassed its FY 01 fundraising goal of $30 million to raise an outstanding $31.2 million. The successful year in fundraising will help BWH carry out its mission as it sets out to meet its future goals.
In November, BWH announced its Strategic Plan, which will shape hospital activity until 2005. The plan categorizes goals into seven areas—bed supply, inpatient service mix, Faulkner integration, outpatient services, cost reduction, revenue enhancement and length of stay. The successful implementation of the plan will allow the hospital to sustain its long-standing commitment of excellence to patient care, research and teaching while continuing to support the community.
BWH congratulates and thanks all staff for the success of 2001. As BWH bridges this year’s success with the opportunities that await in 2002, all employees’ efforts are applauded in securing the hospital’s preeminence in all aspects of clinical care and its strength in medical research.