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  • Positive Moments, Healing Moments

    March 22, 2019, 08:44 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    Along a patient’s journey, he or she will encounter many different representatives of UTMB. From patient services specialists to parking attendants, from medical assistants to nurses and physicians, there are so many people and settings that shape our patient’s impression of UTMB and affect their experience. Hippocrates once wrote, “Where there is love of humanity, there will be love of the profession.” We are all in health care because we are passionate about taking care of others, whether we are on the front lines of patient care or we work in support of patient care and service. In my own experience, I know that if I had the chance to start over in my health care profession, I would choose it all over again!
  • In the Heat of the Moment

    March 15, 2019, 09:19 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    Before my sister was born, my parents, my brother and I lived in a very small three-bedroom home in a village just outside the city limits of Springfield, Illinois. I loved living in that house because it backed up to a square block of land that became our neighborhood baseball and soccer fields. All the neighborhood kids would play there—we were not very good at those sports, but we sure had fun! The northern side of the field was full of apple trees, so it was not uncommon to see three or four kids at a time sitting in the trees eating apples. The eastern side of the field was home to our local AM radio station, WCVS. I thought it was pretty cool to actually be able to see the people I heard on the radio coming and going from the radio station.
  • Running with scissors

    March 8, 2019, 08:46 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    As my sons neared the end of their elementary school years, they really liked the humorous lyrics of a musician and satirist many of you may know—Weird Al Yankovic. In 1999, we lived in Arcadia, California when he released a new album, “Running with Scissors.” Although there is not a song of that title on the album, there is a photo of Weird Al on the album cover running on a track with his arms above his head holding a pair of open scissors. As I talked to my boys about the dangers of running with scissors, I had a somewhat uneasy feeling as I recalled a memory as a five-year-old when I had not listened to my mother...
  • Berwick Quote

    Taking Unnecessary Risks

    March 1, 2019, 14:45 PM by Donna Sollenberger
    Among the things Humorist Dave Barry listed in “25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years,” originally published in his book Dave Barry Turns 50, he wrote, “The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.” While I suspect there is truth in that statement, I feel confident that we have all observed someone on the road to whom this certainly did not apply! They either drove like the rules of traffic didn’t apply to them, or they took unnecessary (or even unimaginable) risks just to get a little bit farther ahead. Perhaps you observe this on a daily basis! It seems so many drivers are willing to take risks that put themselves and others in harm’s way.
  • Go the extra mile; it’s never crowded

    February 15, 2019, 10:20 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    Last weekend, my husband and I did our Saturday morning ritual—we had breakfast at our friend’s bagel shop, went to the cleaners, swung by the bank and pharmacy, and finished the morning at the grocery store. (I know; we lead an exciting life!) We love our cleaners and have gone there for many years. The clerks have always been professional and upbeat. They know our names, and because they have drive-up or walk-in service, we always let the clerk bring out our clean items and pick up what we drop off. About six months ago, the cleaners sold to a new owner. At first, the staff we knew remained, but one by one, they have left. Now, the employees recognize us, but they don’t seem very interested in getting to know us. Last Saturday’s experience left me almost speechless.
  • Rising to the Top

    February 8, 2019, 10:04 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    They say it’s a lot harder to stay on top than it is to get there, but I have always enjoyed healthy competition. Whether it is sports, school studies, work projects or personal training, I think that being continually challenged promotes improvement. My case in point follows...
  • The only important thing I have to do right now…

    February 1, 2019, 09:01 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    Last Thursday evening, I attended a dinner at a conference hosted by Vizient. At this dinner, Vizient was toasting two CEO members who are retiring this year, and I was one of those. The person who was slated to give my toast had to cancel his trip last minute, so he wrote a nice letter to be read that evening. In the letter, he told a story about me when I was President and CEO of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC). I would like to share that story with you.
  • Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care

    January 18, 2019, 08:36 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    When I was in the fifth grade, my mother signed me up for a 4-H club in Springfield, Illinois. She was determined that I would learn to sew. My mother sewed, but she was never as excellent a seamstress as her mother, my grandmother. My grandmother loved making dresses for me, but for some reason, she never wanted to share the secrets of her amazing talent, so my mother had been left to learn on her own. This made my mother even more determined to see that I learned to sew.
  • Perception is Reality

    January 11, 2019, 11:26 AM by Donna Sollenberger
    I have been thinking a great deal lately about the patient’s perspective, particularly when it comes to their experience with us while they are in our care at UTMB. We are all in health care because we want to help people, and we are committed to delivering Best Care to our patients. Every day, I hear stories of remarkable care and compassion delivered by our faculty, house staff, nurses and employees. I believe every individual at UTMB understands how they are connected in an important way to providing the very Best Care for our patients.
  • Best Care is everything we do!

    New Year’s Resolutions

    January 4, 2019, 12:33 PM by Donna Sollenberger
    Last year about this time, I started thinking about resolutions. This was prompted in part by lists that my grown children and their spouses had developed for their New Year’s resolutions. One of the boys resolved to write a book and teach himself block-chain programming. Another resolved to “de-product” himself and his home. Goodbye Charter cable, Netflix, YouTube and Apple iPhones, and hello to self-hosted products and homegrown servers. (I was thankful that he didn’t live in my house anymore!)...