Saturday, September 22, 2007

The firmament

Earlier this year the Medical Staff, with the help of the Auxiliary, began a recognition award for doctors who bring to their medical practices particularly human qualities. They demonstrate sensitivity, thoughtfulness, appreciation and respect – STAR is the acronym.

What do the medical STARs do? They play chess with nursing home residents. They treat others as equals. They have a rapport with their nursing colleagues.

Last March the STAR honor went to Joseph T. Barry, MD, a chess player who, if he loses a game, buys pizza for the residents. I wrote about Dr. Barry’s honor recently. An internist specializing in geriatric medicine, Dr. Barry is in private practice with Preventive Medicine Associates, PLLC, Camillus, NY. He is also the medical director of Community General Hospital’s sixth floor skilled nursing facility and the Iroquois Nursing Home, located in Jamesville, NY.

Dr. Barry “sets aside time to play chess with multiple residents” at Community General where his “genuine humor and lighthearted challenge to residents has created a splash of excitement.”[1] Dr. Barry is also “a man of the people” who is “always approachable” and who “totally immerses himself in medical problems from the patient’s perspective.”

Daniel L. Dombroski, MD, who received the STAR award in June, is a general surgeon who “treats everyone as his equal and has the ability to make the patients and staff members feel like they matter.” To him “the patient’s feelings and needs are just as important as their medical condition.”

Dr. Dombroski maintains a private practice in Physicians Office Building – North on the CGH campus. He participates in the hospital’s Wound Care Management Center, and he was honored by LeMoyne College in 2001with its Distinguished Alumni Award.

The September STAR honor went to James Watts, MD, an internist with “a wonderful bedside manner,” who has “a great rapport with nurses and other staff.” Dr. Watts is “always willing to go out of his way to help” and is considered by the staff on Three West to be “a breath of fresh air during a stressful day.”

Dr. Watts is in private practice with the FamilyCare Medical Group PC, which has more than 20 locations throughout the Syracuse area. Dr. Watts’ office is in Physicians Office Building – North. He is Co-chairman of the Medical Records Committee.

Being kind and respectful is not merely good citizenship. These are the attributes of individuals who build positive relationships with other members of the caring team. This can aid communications at all levels. Better communications help reduce risks for patients – and reduced risks mean better patient safety. Being a pleasant person is good medicine too.

If you want to acknowledge another STAR within our medical staff, pick up a nomination form in the Medical Affairs office (first floor, west wing) and in other locations throughout the hospital. You can also find a copy on the hospital’s intranet – go to CGHNet, find “Forms” in the drop-down menu and click on “Physician STAR Award.”

[1] All quotes are from the nominating forms submitted about the physicians by members of the CGH family.

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