Act of kindness goes viral, United Way campaign kicks off and Big Ideas

Patient’ story touches community

Talk with any caregiver at UMass Memorial Health Care and I am sure they will tell you this: beyond medical attention and advice, there is always something else we can do for our patients. It is so much a part of their everyday process that it has become routine. Last month at our Memorial Campus in Worcester, the routine became viral and it had a large impact not only on caregivers but on our community as a whole.

In case you are not familiar with this story (and did not get a chance to read it on MassLive, Worcester Magazine or see the segment on WCVB) of a patient who, while being released for hospice care, was asked by one of our physicians, “is there anything else we can do for you?” The patient replied that he would like a slice of his favorite pizza from his favorite restaurant. A simple request asked and honored. The restaurant, a landmark in Worcester, does not have a delivery service but was humbled by the request, made an exception, and delivered the pizza free of charge. What followed was something very special. With the patient’s permission, we shared his story on our social media pages and with local media. It resonated with so many people and became the most shared and viewed post in the history of our Medical Center’s Facebook page.

The story highlights, in an extraordinary way, what many of you already know and put into action each day: the patient is at the center of all we do. Thanks to the team on South 2 and the restaurant for creating a Wow! Moment for this patient.


“I was the nurse taking care of this kind man and requested this photo. I felt both happiness and sadness for the patient and his family.” South 2 nurse Laurie Carleton, RN



United Way campaign begins

The annual United Way fundraising campaign is underway and as usual, your support will go a long way towards determining its success. We partner with United Way becaUWCM_fullcolor_140pxuse it is an efficient and effective way for our collective giving to be streamlined through dozens of local agencies that serve the diverse needs of the most vulnerable populations in our region. The programs supported by United Way of Central Massachusetts reach men, women, children and families in Worcester and 29 surrounding communities. United Way invested more than $5.1 million in programs that made a difference in the lives of 66,000 people last year. For your convenience, you can pledge electronically here or via email. View this video to get an idea of the types of programs your contributions help to support in Central Massachusetts.

 Big Ideas

With hundreds of Idea Boards, and thousands of team huddles around implemecpccnting and completing them, I think it is safe to say UMass Memorial is in the idea business. I wanted to share a couple with you. Christina Webb, a registered nurse with the Emergency Department on the University Campus shared this idea. One of her colleagues, Thomas Bohigian, the department’s equipment supply coordinator, invented a cell phone charging dock out of an old vitals cart for the convenience of our patients and their families. It’s currently in a trial phase but the department hopes to expand it in the future. Nice work!

And there is this one from our Labor & Delivery (L&D) team which focuses on visual management. Beth Donovan, the Nurse Manager for L&D and Nancy Merchant, Director of L&D and Mother Baby services, took department photos and placed them on magnetic strips so they can be moved around. The pictures are mpbrotated on a board so the department and other hospital employees know who the nurse, anesthesiologist, attending obstetrics physician and resident are on call for obstetrical care. It is a great idea that provides both convenience and clarity for the department. Keep the ideas coming; you are making a great impact on this organization – for the benefit of our patients.

Thanks for all your great ideas and for taking great care of our patients and one another,


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