Disorganization Station – Ritalin Donations Welcome

The Board Room

Posted in Uncategorized by Hams on 2007/10/24

A couple of months ago, I called an emergency director’s meeting at a new hospital in response to a family request for information about organ donation.  Their loved one was going to die unexpectedly as a result of a chronic medical condition.  We anticipated that this patient’s family was going to make a decision to donate. 

According to the Second Rule of Hams, organ donation will happen as the rule not the exception after all those who have the power to illicit change in an institution have left.  As this was a Thursday afternoon, you wanna bet I wanted to talk to these folks before they left.  I had expected participation from the Director of Quality Management, the Director of Critical Care and the Director of the OR.  Instead I received the Quality gal, the OR gals, the Director of Pharmacy, Chief Nursing Officer, and CEO.  Not bad, eh?

Mind you this meeting is at 4:00 pm and right before this meeting the family had changed their mind.  So I’m going in with nothing, and feeling foolish that I’ve called these administrators away from going home, work, etc for nothing.  Myself, the Organ Recovery Coordinator (clinical person who does donor medical management, organ placement and all other things donation), and the Donation and Family Advocates (people who work with families).

I wing it.  Introduce everyone on our team, thank them profusely for coming on such short notice, try like hell not to stutter and explain the urgency for the meeting.  They just opened, I’m sure they have limited services, want to make them aware of what could have transpired because I’ve learned from experience that we get more help at 2pm than 2am….  They all are listening intently, ask WONDERFUL questions indicating they’re paying attention.  Including the CEO.  Sometimes he looks a bit puzzled and looks at me quizzically, that’s when I learned he wants to ask a question.

He says this is very important and he would like us to speak to their Board of Directors.

I respond, telling him I would be glad to do that.

The quizzical look comes again.  He doesn’t want me…I panic and….

I say, “Or, my CEO…”

“Oh sure, please arrange that”

I do.  Very fast.  I’m kinda a whore for face time.  Anything we can do to garner support…heck yeah!

Fast forward to tonight.  Our CEO and I traverse metro Phoenix during rush hour.  Mind you, this hospital is 35 miles from central Phoenix.  We run into traffic which I would describe as a “slow crawl”.  He says it’s a “parking lot”.  I assure him this is an improvement.

We arrive and are greeted by a bunch of younger men, most in their 30’s and 40’s.  All very friendly introducing themselves.  I’ve never been at a board meeting and I’m not accustomed to this many suits being so friendly.  I would certainly have more self confidence if my makeup hadn’t been freshly applied ten hours earlier.

Tim speaks and is brilliant as most of our company’s leadership.  Our ten minute presentation turns into about 30-40 minutes.  They are engaged, asking questions, saying how ‘fascinating and important’ this subject is. (!!!!)  One gentleman was so engaged his shrimp primavera missed his mouth….  Loved it!  Their CEO compliments our group (me personally to our CEO.  Yay!)

On the way out is a famous question that is asked by leadership when they present for me “Did I say everything right? Did I mess up?”  I’m thinking “Huh?”

Not only do I have a great job, but our leadership is humble enough to ask our opinions and truly mean it.

This is my first experience in the Board Room.  I have to admit, it wasn’t so bad 🙂


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