Archive for the ‘Appreciation’ Category


I recently met with new employee Melissa Phelps to hear why she joined Community Medical Centers, and what she loves the most about her work as an office assistant and scheduler in the radiology department. By the time we had finished lunch I ended up hearing not only how much she loves her job, but also learning about her personal love story with her husband Josh.  See the blog post “Love Letters“.

Valentines Day is a time to celebrate love for our husbands, wives, partners, children, parents, pets and yes, …our jobs.  This feeling of attachment and connection is so important, it deserved a poem of sorts, so I wrote a knock off of 1 Corinthians in celebration of Valentines Day.


Done well, work is Love.  Work is kind. It allows us to accomplish things in service to others, it allows our hearts to swell with pride and our voices to sing praise of goals met.  Work done well does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, it praises in public and criticizes in private, it is slow to anger and it keeps no record of wrong doings (except of course those that violate policy).  Work delights in excellence and rejoices in customer satisfaction. Work done well always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.  Work done well –  is Love.


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I was sitting in the stands last Friday night, at Giants Stadium when Buster Posey came up to bat in the 9th inning with the game tied 1-1.   It was a full count.   “What’s his name again?” I asked Ron, a recent transplant to California. “That’s Buster Posey”, he said. “Watch”.

Almost before I had the chance to turn my gaze back to the field I heard a loud crack that could be nothing other than a 90 mph fastball against wood.  Posey had just hit his fourth homer of the season to win the game.  A sold out stadium of orange shirts let out a deafening roar, and without even realizing it, I was on my feet screaming too.  I looked up at the big screen to catch the close-up of a calm Posey rounding the bases, and then glanced back down to the field.  The Giants’ dugout had emptied as his teammates whooped with joy, surrounding home base to wave him in.

Image Yep.  I became a huge Giants fan that night, and on the drive back to Fresno started thinking about what it takes to “Be Buster”.    What I realized is that Buster has a lot in common with CMC nurses.

The road to being great isn’t easy

In May, 2011 Posey suffered what the sports writer’s describe as a brutal collision when Florida Marlins player Scott Cousins plowed into him at home plate.  If you can stand to look at it- watch the YouTube video or take a look at the photos online showing the grotesque position of his foot after impact.  He had fractured his fibula and torn the ligaments in his left ankle.  This kind of injury can be a career ender, but it wasn’t.  You have to believe that this was not only due to good doctoring, but  his own conviction to return to a game he loved.

Even though the road hasn’t been easy, our nurses show the same bravery and love for their life’s-work. This past year you’ve taken a hit at home plate too.   Weeks of code triage at Regional, the stress of a new bed tower opening at Clovis and continuing pressure to be efficient while hitting quality and patient satisfaction targets.  You have given all you got, and it’s paid off.  All of us, including the patients you saved, and the families who got their loved ones back in one piece, know you are an MVP too.

Quiet influence is the stuff of heroes

The sports media describe Buster as a throwback. He’s not the blustering, egotistical character Tim Robbins played in the movie “Bull Durham”.  He’s a quiet, take-care-of business kind of guy.  He’s achieved his superstar status not by talking to the media about his over- the- moon success, but by quietly making a difference on the field.

That’s what our nurses do.  Your dedication to innovate, to get things right and do the best for your patients is a game changer.   You’ve installed EPIC, implemented the Wellness Network and managed a large uptick in admissions with more than a few of your peers on the DL (Disabled List).   And yet, you deliver. No fanfare.  Just excellence.

MVPs step up when the chips are down

As the story goes, in October of 2012, the Giants were down 0-2 and feeling pretty dejected as they stepped up to face the Cincinnati Reds in game 3 of the Division Series.  In the locker room right before they went onto the field, manager Bruce Botchy said a few words, then handed center stage over to player Henry Pence. Whatever inspiration the speech delivered had a big impact on Posey.  He hit a grand slam home run into the upper deck for a 6-0 win.

To celebrate Nursing Week I offer these reflections, and leave you with an excerpt from Pence’s locker room speech.   Take it to heart.  We feel this, about working with all of you.

“get in here, everyone get in here…look into each other eyes…now! look into each others eyes, I want one more day with you, it’s the most fun, the best team I have ever been on” “and no matter what happens, we must not give in, we owe it to each other, play for each other, I need one more day with you guys, play for each other not yourself, win each moment, win each inning, it’s all we have left”..

-Notes of Henry Pence Locker Room speech recorded by Giants coach Tim Flannery.

Happy Nurses week!

(This post originally appeared on the Community Medical Centers website in a blog titled “It Takes Community”.  Follow Peg on Twitter @peg_breen

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