Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Team Matters


Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I'm posting this blog from 35,000 feet up over this beautiful country of ours. I'm traveling to attend a course on minimally invasive mitral valve repair in California.

One of my favorite movies is "Up in the Air" with George Clooney. In the film, he loves being in flight, traveling across the country for his job. There is a certain serenity, a time to reflect. I agree. I find it very relaxing, one of the few times I am completely alone with my thoughts, while enjoying the view of God's work below.

Tonight, my thoughts are with my team. At the center of that team are four special women who I have had the privilege of working with for as long as I can remember --Mindy Snyder, Carol Shannon, RN, Pam Olivieri, and Lisa Garloff.

Mindy is our practice manager. Mindy is the heart and soul of our practice. Carol is one of the most experienced and talented cardiothoracic surgery nurse in the country with 35 years of experience! Pam is our office scheduler who manages thousands of patient appointments every year, somehow keeping up with emergencies and constant changes. Lisa is our O.R. scheduler, who ensures that every patient that goes to the operating room is ready and safe to proceed.

Together, they are the core of our practice. They work so hard and rarely get the recognition that they deserve.  I know that whatever success I may have enjoyed over these past 25 years, it is largely due to my team --the entire team-- exemplified by these four amazing professionals. To me, it's more than just a team, it feels like family.

Indeed, what separates our cardiothoracic team at Lehigh Valley Health Network is that we are a family. All of our surgeons, physician assistants, nurses, and staff are truly special. Patients sense this when they come to our office and when they are cared for in our operating rooms and our intensive care units.

Yes, I've been fortunate to travel far and wide for my career, as I am doing tonight. And in all my travels, I know, I'm the luckiest surgeon in the world to have the finest team at home.

"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." --Babe Ruth

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