We Find Our Strength Through Teamwork

Among all of our core values, teamwork helps us best discover and show our true strength. As I reflect on the challenges of the past two years, behind every personal memory or story that I've heard from others, has been an example of teamwork.

There were the big changes, of course, that were fueled by the pandemic and caused us to change how we deliver care, how we train students and residents, and how we conduct our research. But there were also many other bright moments.

Some of the stories I'll never forget include one team's innovative approach to a pregnant woman's tongue cancer, the amazing collaboration it took to separate conjoined twins at Mott, and heartwarming stories that show how much we reach out to the community and our patients, such as the poinsettias we give to every adult hospital patient at Christmas.

Here are a few others that have brightened my days: 

  • A pharmacy team braved bad roads to come to work, where a backlog of tasks needed immediate attention. With no manager yet on duty, they quickly came up with a plan to cover essential functions and ensure great patient care until management could arrive to reassess.
  • Renee Basnakis Hartl, M.D., Au.D., a house officer and otolaryngology fellow, saw that the nursing staff was shorthanded, so she joined them in prepping the OR for surgery.
  • Joseph Norman, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine, got a shout out from the nursing staff for always treating them with respect, including stepping in and responding to patients' call lights when needed.
  • The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery recognized administrative assistants Marlon Frazier and Sonya Fritz for being extraordinarily industrious and professional in managing difficult logistics due to innumerable changes amid the "new normal" and much uncertainty.

One of the best things about Michigan Medicine is the undying spirit of teamwork and collaboration that we see and feel every day. It really is about the team, the team, the team.   

Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, U-M Medical School
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Michigan
CEO, Michigan Medicine

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