For decades, Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson dominated our airwaves with humor and commentary on Minnesota life. There was no better way to start out the day than with a cup of coffee and the Boone-Erickson show on the radio. My favorite episodes tended to be “Minnesota Hospital” and they would always add something like “Minnesota, a great state to be sick in”.
I recently learned how true that was when I was admitted to the Fairview Southdale Hospital with a stomach ailment. Two doctors and their team worked together, ran tests, utilized the latest technology, and did all that could be done to determine the cause. They asked me exhaustive questions and, in the end, they found the source.
But this is not where the story ends. Rather, in my time there I realized that this hospital had only one goal and that was to serve the patient and do it professionally, thoroughly, and with a sense of compassion and humor. From a patient viewpoint, this was a team coming together to solve a medical problem and restore health to a patient. Orderlies, housekeepers, technicians, nurses, doctors were marvelous examples of teamwork and they all took pride in their work.
By the time I left, the nurses and I were laughing as we went to leave. I knew I had been part of something extraordinary and that is that people love their job when they are part of a meaningful human endeavor and there can be none higher than protecting human health.
If there is a basic lesson here it is that those institutions that most clearly identify with their customers tend to the most successful while those who are more self-serving suffer from dysfunction. Witness Congress.
Thank you all at Fairview Southdale Hospital; you are a shining example of the best.
PS This coming Monday night, Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson will be reading the Christmas Carol at the Old Log Theater. Susan and I will be there. This is a special Christmas event that you will not want to miss.