Words from Woods | 8 years ago

Southern Hospitality is Alive and Well

As I reflect on my first weeks at Carolinas HealthCare System, I come away very inspired by our patients, as well as the work our employees do every day.

I knew I was coming to an organization and a community with special people, and I am learning just how true that is. Seeing our employees’ commitment to patients and each other firsthand, as well as the smiles and handshakes from patients and their families, truly made me feel welcome.

There are so many moments I want to share, but here are a few highlights from my first two weeks:

  • At Carolinas Medical Center-Myers Park, I immediately recognized the System’s mission at work. Our staff provides excellent care to an underserved patient population, meeting and exceeding targets for preventative screenings. There were even some providers that spoke Spanish. And I know that communicating with our Hispanic patients in their native language can often help bring down their blood pressure during a difficult time in their lives.
  • At Carolinas Medical Center and Levine Children’s Hospital, the commitment to teamwork is evident around every corner, including the HPB unit, where excellent, specialized care is given to patients with diseases of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas. I also met a therapy dog at Levine Children’s Hospital that certainly lowered my blood pressure after receiving a tour of the pediatric CVICU, where the team focuses on treating the patient as well as the family. I know it’s these special touches that really help our youngest patients and their families through tough times. I even got a fist bump from a young patient (he was very strong, I’ll add!).
  • Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy’s connection to its history is really special; you can almost breathe it in as you walk through the halls. Amid all of that history, this team is dedicated to the future with its focus on alternative healing approaches such as massage and music therapy. I even got to tour the healing garden. The Mercy team is also focused on Lean processes to improve patient-centered care.
  • At Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast, where I toured the Mariam Cannon Hayes Family Center, I was surprised with some welcome posters from patients at Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital. I also had the chance to meet nurse Shelly Cawley and hear the amazing story of how her newborn daughter stirred her to fight for her life after a difficult birth.
  • At Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville, I met members of their emerging leaders program. The collaboration between all-star nurses, physicians and administration is driving impressive results there.
  • Last but not least, I had a great time watching our employees perform at “Carolinas HealthCare System Has Talent” and was blown away by their abilities.

Now you can see why I’m energized by the dedication and spirit of all the people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet. I can’t wait to learn even more!

Thank you again for the warm welcome. I will continue sharing my experiences on my blog and Twitter. I invite you to follow along and join the conversation.

Gene Woods is the president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System and was also elected to serve as chairman of the American Hospital Association in 2017. He is passionate about healthcare, is fluent in Spanish and is an accomplished musician. Gene likes to hear from the community, so send thoughts or questions to him, follow him on Twitter @GeneAWoods and learn more about him.