"I am writing to you since I am a HUP Miracle. Because of heart failure, I should have already passed on but thanks to the excellent HUP Heart Transplant Team, I received a new heart last month and I am already walking 2 miles/day. The entire heart transplant process could have been an extremely stressful journey, especially the wait for a new heart. However, thanks to the extraordinary and non-stop communication skills and compassion of the entire team, I NEVER had a stressful day. Their empathy was at such a high level, it was like they knew when I was in danger of becoming stressed and they dealt with it proactively.
For example, before I could worry that my heart would stop working before a new heart arrived, Dr. Joyce Wald took my hands in hers and looked me in the eyes and promised me I would get a heart. On another occasion, when I was getting to a point where I could have possibly gotten depressed, Dr. Anjali Owens visited me in my hospital room for almost a half hour just to talk. It is almost like they had ESP, they were so good at anticipating my concerns/worries. Dr. Owens also did a brilliant job in breaking the news to me that I needed a heart transplant because I was in serious denial. But somehow, she got my attention and raised my awareness to the urgency of the matter without causing me feel dejected. When my heart failure really fell off a cliff, Dr. Rhondalyn McLean would regularly visit me and reassure me and keep my spirits high even though I no longer had the strength to even brush my teeth.
During this whole journey, I always remembered the words Dr. Mariell Jessup said to me early in the process. She told me I was in for a "very pleasant surprise" when I had a heart that performed the way a heart was meant to perform. Talk about a constant morale booster. Those words were it!
I know this email is getting a little long but so many of your colleagues went over and above their job descriptions that I thought you would like to know and would be proud of the HUP Culture. It puts the Ritz-Carlton to shame as the HUP culture is sincere and authentic and not just statements memorized from the back of a card.
2 of the heart transplant nurses, Anthony Kayser and Nicole Hornsby, always kept me up to date and were always available to answer any of my questions, and I had lot of questions. They also gave me firm but polite "Come to Jesus" talks when I needed them because I was in danger of making my situation unintentionally worse by doing some stupid things (e.g. eating a hoagie with the works). People like Debbie Gordon and Sallie Smith regularly checked in with me to make sure I was ok. They even extended themselves to arrange for my grandson to visit me in the hospital. I was always treated like I was every HUP employee's father/son/brother/best friend and I was never treated like a number or patient X. Unbelievable!!!
This caring approach, as well as the medically excellent treatment, was the norm on 100% of my interactions with any HUP personnel. Heck, the receptionist, Ashley Wetherell, even took the time to visit me in the ICU after the transplant and trust me, I wasn't good company when I was in ICU. After the transplant, when I went through the 10 most excrutiatingly painful days of my life, how could you not feel a little better being tended to by Dr. Lee Goldberg with his always smiling, cheerful face and charisma and calming manner when giving me updates on my condition. He was better for my pain than morphine. Also, Dr. Stuart Weiss's sense of humor when doing his rounds always helped me keep things in perspective. I will always be in debt to the heart transplant surgeon who gave me the new heart, Dr. Pavan Atluri.
I was impressed with HUP because I led a $10 Billion/Year Government organization headquartered in Manhattan and we excelled at customer service and HUP had us beat. It pained me to admit it since I am passionate about customer service but the truth is the truth. NO ONE, does it better than HUP!!! When I led my organization, I studied and copied the best practices of Disney, Nordstroms, Hallmark, Ritz-Carlton, etc. I never knew that the #1 best practice for customer service was in Philadelphia at HUP. Congratulations.
In the past four months, I have had innumerable interactions with many different functional areas all across HUP and I now realize my high praise of HUP in our call actually fell short of the level of service subsequently provided by the HUP team. I will always feel blessed that HUP was here for me."