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  • A Heartwarming Letter

    June 15, 2018, 08:30 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    We all have the opportunity every day to improve someone’s life, whether it is through life-saving care or providing comfort in times of need. Not only do we impact the life of the patient, but we also impact the lives of their family members. We all wake up each day committed to doing a good job, and we hope that in the course of the day, we also have the ability to make a difference. Drew Dudley, an expert in leadership development and Ted Talks speaker, says that in some way or another, we have all changed someone else’s life whether or not we ever even realized it. He calls these Lollipop Moments. He often shares one specific story from his life to illustrate that it’s through the small things we do that we can have a great impact on those around us. These Lollipop Moments are times where someone said something or did something that fundamentally made life better for someone else. (You can view his Ted Talk at the end of today’s entry.) It is in this context that I share a beautifully written letter from the son of a patient…
  • Mr. Rogers quote

    It’s not how many blessings you have

    June 7, 2018, 16:40 PM by Donna Sollenberger
    More and more, I am beginning to think that my two three-year old grandchildren are causing me to revert back to the days when I was a mother to a young daughter. As I mentioned at the end my most recent post, as a little girl, Shannon, loved watching the television program, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I cannot even begin to estimate how many hours we spent in front of the TV watching his program! At the time, I thought Mr. Rogers was a bit boring, but I was fascinated at how engaged my daughter would get in the show and how much she loved the characters.
  • Success is not an accident

    May 24, 2018, 16:30 PM by Donna Sollenberger
    Last month, the pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight achieved national and international attention when she successfully landed a plane after one of its engines exploded, damaging the fuselage and breaking a window in the passenger cabin. Captain Tammie Jo Shults was not supposed to be on the flight that day, but she had changed shifts with her husband so that she could see their son compete in a track meet.
  • The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place

    May 17, 2018, 13:59 PM by Donna Sollenberger
    Last week my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to San Diego to meet our new grandson. Of course, he is beautiful and perfect! While we were in California, we had lunch with the son of two dear friends, Morgan. We had not seen him for quite some time, so it was great catching up with him. We have known him for almost twenty years. In fact, we first met when he was a fairly new father with a two-year old daughter. I realized how quickly time had passed when I asked Morgan what grade Julia was in now, and he told me she is a freshman in college. Somehow, I am still not sure that is possible...
  • To change something, you have to change something.

    May 8, 2018, 09:27 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    In February 2002, the Winter Olympic Games were held in Salt Lake City, Utah. More than 2,400 athletes from 78 nations participated in 165 sporting sessions. It was the fifth time that the United States had hosted the Olympics and it would be the last time until the summer of 2028 when the games are scheduled to be held in Los Angeles. I remember watching the opening ceremony of the games that year. The members of the 1980 USA men’s hockey team, who had unbelievably beat the Russians, entered the stadium with the Olympic torch carried by Mike Eruzione. I watched so many of the events that year. Of course, I am always mesmerized by the talent of all of the Olympic athletes and the sacrifices they make to perfect themselves for their sport. It makes the moments when they win magical.
  • healthsystemweek_800

    Happy Nurses & Health System Employee Week!

    May 3, 2018, 13:53 PM by Donna Sollenberger
    Since the weather has warmed, I’ve enjoyed watching the pelicans fly above Galveston Island. At times, I’ll spot one on its own, gracefully flying just above the surface of the water, looking for a bite to eat. Other times, particularly when driving across the Causeway, I will notice a group soaring above, flying in a nearly perfect "V" formation. I have always been fascinated by the fact that birds fly this way and wondered why, so I did a little research.
  • Positive action combined with positive thinking results in success

    April 20, 2018, 11:04 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    There once was a gardener who ran his family’s business. It had been passed down from his grandfather to his father and now to him. The staff members were happy, customers loved to visit the store, and the business was successful. For as long as anyone could even remember, the current owner and his relatives before him were always happy, positive and optimistic. Generally, people assumed that was because they were all running a very successful business.
  • The value of a great idea lies in using it

    April 13, 2018, 09:35 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    I grew up with a father who made sure that if something was broken, it would be fixed. If the toilet ran too long, he got inside the tank and replaced the rubber stopper or the chain and, presto, it worked again. If the sink was stopped up beca­­use Mom tried to grind too many potato peels in the garbage disposal, Dad would use a plunger or drain snake to unblock the problem. Sometimes the clog was so bad, we couldn’t break the blockage unless one of us got up on the roof and held a towel down a pipe to prevent the clog from taking the undesirable path of least resistance. In fact, I remember my brother and I spending many a holiday on our roof as mom cooked loads of potatoes for all of the company we had over. The sink was generally guaranteed to back up at least once! Those moments were not my fondest holiday memories.
  • Never underestimate the valuable and important difference you make

    April 6, 2018, 11:21 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    This week, I received a copy of a letter of thanks that had been sent by one of our patients to the staff and physicians in the Medicine/Family Medicine Unit (10D), located in Jennie Sealy Hospital. The note was especially touching because of the printed message, authored by Lamisha Serf-Walls, on the card itself...
  • Operation Appreciation

    March 23, 2018, 03:12 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    Once upon a time, a television newscaster happened upon a man dressed up in a ridiculous-looking red Spider-Man costume. He had placed suction cups on his hands and feet to climb the side of one of the tallest buildings in the world. He climbed 125 stories. When he reached the top, there was thunderous applause, as well as police and reporters waiting for him. They asked, “Why in the world would you risk your life climbing this tall building?” He thought for a moment and then responded, “I love to hear the applause.” It seems hard to believe that this man felt he had to climb 125 stories in a silly comic strip suit to get the applause of people! Yet how many times do people we live and work with feel the same way? We all strive to accomplish great things – and we like to be noticed and appreciated for our efforts.