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  • If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door

    March 15, 2018, 09:58 AM by Mary Feldhusen
    I have been thinking a lot about the budget these past few months and the finances of the Health System and the institution in general. Today, I attended one of five all-staff nursing meetings that our Chief Nursing & Patient Care Services Officer, David Marshall, is holding at all of our hospitals. In his presentation, Dr. Marshall talked about the “belt tightening” needed to assure that UTMB meets its budget this year. It reminded me of a time growing up when my family really needed to do the same. I was a sophomore in high school when my father lost his job. It was a terrible time for our family of five in an era when many women did not work and stayed home to raise their families. Fortunately, my mother was a very skilled legal secretary, and the law firm where she had worked until my brother was born was always calling to get her to do temporary work, knowing she was not interested in a full-time job.
  • If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.

    March 9, 2018, 12:19 PM by Mary Feldhusen
    I hope you were able to join me for Mondays in March this week, either in person or by streaming the presentation live online. We had a great turnout and a lot of interest in the work taking place across the UTMB Health System. I always enjoy sharing our accomplishments – it never ceases to amaze me how much we collectively achieve each year. Mondays in March is also a great opportunity to share what we will be focused on for the remaining months of fiscal year 2018. UTMB has experienced a remarkable transformation over the last decade and demonstrated resilience in the face of challenges, whether those challenges were something Mother Nature had in store for us or the fact that the health care industry is ever-evolving in terms of quality standards and reimbursement. But these challenges have also provided a tremendous amount of opportunity, especially for an organization as innovative and dedicated to excellence in education, research and patient care as UTMB.
  • It’s always seems impossible until it is done.

    March 2, 2018, 08:38 AM by Mary Feldhusen
    As you may know, my husband and I had twins in 1985. I was fortunate in that I had great medical care, although there were bumps along the way with the pregnancy, including early labor at 27 weeks. After some time in the hospital and some miracle medicine, I was able to carry the twins to 33 weeks. While one of the boys was perfectly fine at birth, the smaller of the two was diagnosed at a young age with asthma. It was pretty significant – he struggled terribly with colds and always had a difficult time fully participating in physical activities with his friends, especially if they were doing anything that required running. He had several types of medicine, took inhalation treatments several times daily, and always needed to carry an inhaler. When the twins were five years old, we moved from Springfield, Illinois to Houston. One of the benefits was that there were now many more pediatric asthma specialists in our area. The timing was fortunate, because Brad’s asthma had finally gotten so bad that his pediatrician referred him to be seen and tested by a pediatric pulmonologist that specialized in asthma. I remember the day of that appointment like it was yesterday...
  • It is not the hearing that improves life, but the listening.

    February 16, 2018, 08:37 AM by Mary Feldhusen
    At our house, my husband and I talk a lot about the difference between hearing and listening. Sometimes, these conversations center on the fact that as people age, they lose their ability to hear things clearly. I recently read a story where Eric Clapton – who, in my humble opinion, is one of the all-time greatest guitarists and vocalists – said that he was going to quit touring because he was almost deaf. This unfortunately happens to so many musicians who have played very loud music over the years. In addition to hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is another outcome of repeatedly being in venues where the music is loud, or having been near an explosion, or other loud noise. Tinnitus also can occur as one begins to lose more and more of their hearing.
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    Best Care Just Got Better!

    February 9, 2018, 12:40 PM by Mary Feldhusen
    This morning we received our first-quarter performance report from the 2018 Vizient Quality and Accountability Study. I am pleased to share that UTMB now ranks No. 2 in the study! What great news! The talent, hard work, focus and determination of our faulty, nurses, residents, staff and administrators from all parts of the organization never ceases to amaze me. Thank you all for your dedication to our patients, each and every day!
  • A little progress each day adds up to big results

    February 1, 2018, 13:32 PM by Mary Feldhusen
    Years ago when our daughter was young, Kent and I made the decision to buy our first house. Like most young couples, we were on a tight budget. As we began eagerly searching, it quickly became clear to us that in order to afford a place that would accommodate our family and still allow room for growth, we would have to buy a house that needed quite a few renovations. After weeks of searching, we finally found the perfect home. It was the right size, and it was located in a family-friendly neighborhood in the area where our daughter already went to school. It was perfect, except for the fact that it needed a lot of work! After we bought the house, we began saving up so we could start some of the “do-it-yourself” projects we could afford. In this regard, I didn’t have much experience with anything other than painting walls. Fortunately, Kent knew a bit more than I did, such as how to hang lights and strip furniture. And so our adventure began.
  • Be the best.

    From being good to being the best

    January 19, 2018, 09:33 AM by Mary Feldhusen
    One of the most impactful people in my life was my grandmother Mumbower who I called “Grandma.” Minnie Sodey was born in 1898 in Virden, Illinois, a very small town to the south of Springfield. She was the oldest daughter in a family of four sisters and a brother. Just before her fourth grade year, her mother passed away. Because she was the oldest daughter, she had to quit school to become the homemaker. She worked hard every day cleaning the house, cooking meals, packing lunches, doing laundry, sewing clothes and tending to the garden. At the age of nine, she learned to can fruits and vegetables grown in that garden so her family would have enough to last through the winter. Despite the fact that her childhood had been cut short, she taught herself to read and write. While her formal education ended upon the death of her mother, her lifelong education was important to her. She was so influential in helping me learn to read and instilling in me a love of books and music.
  • Employees holding a "Welcome to UTMB" sign

    Feeling at Home

    January 12, 2018, 09:14 AM by Mary Feldhusen
    When one thinks of home, it often evokes feelings of ease, calm and comfort. While this, unfortunately, is not the case for everyone, most people associate home with these good feelings. Where home is a haven, feelings of acceptance and belonging abound. These feelings can extend into public environments, such as the workplace, hospitals, clinics, schools, and the like.
  • quote on resilience

    Building Resilience

    January 5, 2018, 10:36 AM by Mary Feldhusen
    I read an article the other day about resilience. I have often wondered why some people are more resilient than others, and why some can withstand a major life disruption and change for the better, while others don’t do as well. I found the article illuminating in that it said the amount of resilience one has is directly proportional to the social network one can access. Said another way, the greater a person’s sense of belonging to a community, or in having at least one person believe in them as a worthwhile individual, the greater their ability to be resilient.
  • ornament

    Honoring the Past

    December 14, 2017, 17:13 PM by Mary Feldhusen
    As my husband and I decorated our tree this year, I stopped to take a step back and admire our progress. Looking at all of the ornaments, I was overcome by memories and the realization that all of these ornaments together told the story of our family. Each little bauble hanging on that tree has meaning to us. From Kent’s side of the family, we have beautiful felt ornaments adorned with sequins that were handmade by his Aunt Mildred. There are also faded glass ornaments from his great-grandmother Kate’s tree. From my family, we have some clothespins that my great-aunt Margaret decorated to look like toy soldiers. We also have some painted wooden ornaments made by my dad, along with several other ornaments that were given to us as gifts for our first Christmas tree together.