Excerpts of unsolicited letters we've received recently from our patients, their friends, and family members.
I feel a duty to thank you for your dedication to customer service in your hospital. It is pervasive and obvious in many ways, but I was blown away by the immediate attention we received each and every time we became disoriented and/or lost in your large establishment. On 3 separate occasions, we found ourselves lost and in each of these 3 occasions, within seconds or only a minute or two, we were approached and asked by a member of your staff if they could help us ... This was a truly remarkable experience in a hospital the size of yours and one that I will not soon forget. In fact, I have since used this example in my own employee meetings and my own in-servicing for staff as a customer service model that must be emulated ... I cannot speak highly enough of your commitment to customer service and feel you should be commended for your efforts. Thank you for making my experience, but most importantly, the experience of my own mother and so many people that are facing the horrors of cancer, just that much easier and that much less scary, by creating a culture that embraces simply taking the time to stop and help along the way.N. BridgesKennebunk, Maine
The support and care I've received from all nurses have been superb. I expected expertise from Dana-Farber, given its excellent reputation worldwide, but I did not expect such compassion, attention, and willingness to discuss all aspects of the case with loved ones and myself. I am not someone who impresses easily, but I am deeply, deeply impressed.S.G.Worcester, Mass.
I enter and exit my annual visits feeling more like a guest than a patient. From check-in through blood work to doctor appointments, the atmosphere is efficient, effective, caring, and, if I may, hospitable.
The infusion room nurses are indeed sisters and brothers of mercy. The warmth, the professional conduct, the cheeriness are ignitable. Ditto with the volunteers.
It’s tough luck to get Waldenström's macroglobulinemia; it’s good luck to be under Dana-Farber care. Thank you.R.G.Wollaston, Mass.
I will never forget meeting my oncologist, Dr. Ann Partridge, for the first time. I went to the consultation with my husband and sister. In the elevator, my sister was overwhelmed with fear and wasn't sure she could go in with us. We were all terrified. But once Dr. Partridge walked in the room, we knew we were in good hands. She shook our hands with a firm grip, looked at me with her penetrating blue eyes, and said, "I am going to take good care of you. Whatever is ahead of us, we will manage it together."
I knew what she said was true. It took some time to learn the full extent of my cancer, as it had spread to my pelvic bone. But at each stage, Dr. Partridge paced the information so that I could understand what was known, but also what was likely.
After the first consultation, we all loved her. Of course I respect her as an oncologist, but in a way I see her as a friend and a guide. She steers the course, but she still allows me to voice my opinion about treatment, which gives me a sense of control.Laura "Lola" BaltzellBrookline, Mass.
I am not sure who to send this to, but I wanted to share with someone in the administration at Dana-Farber a short note of gratitude I wrote to my cancer support group yesterday, the last day of my five-year treatment. I received excellent care from my team, including Jennifer Bellon, my radiation oncologist, Judith Garber, my oncologist, and Holly O'Kane, her wonderful nurse practitioner. But really everyone at your institute helped me "do cancer," including the parking attendant who greeted me warmly for five years.
As one member of my support group put it, the kindnesses from strangers, from the minute we are on campus, as we navigate our way to the expertise of the doctors and the medical procedures they have to subject us to, help us to put one foot in the front of the other.
Here is what I wrote/felt yesterday:This morning I had my final check-up with my oncologist, or actually her nurse practitioner, at Dana-Farber. I felt like there should be some sort of graduation ceremony from treatment. I am happy to consider myself a Dana-Farber alum! The extraordinary kindness of everyone there has left a lasting impression on me, including a particular parking attendant who always had a warm welcome and smile of recognition for me. Today, he sought me out as I was leaving, even though he was not responsible for my car. (On my way in, I had mentioned it was my last appointment for a while.) He opened his arms and gave me a huge hug. "I will miss you," he said, "... but I am glad you don't have to come any more. Congratulations." "What is your name?" I asked. "You have been so kind to me for five years." "Jesus," he replied, in Spanish.
As I drove up the exit ramp I wept with gratitude, relief, and deep appreciation for the care of a stranger. It was overwhelming. Thank you to each of you who join the surgeon, the radiation oncologist, the oncologist, the nurse practitioner, the O.R. nurses, and the parking attendant as my invaluable support team on the journey with me. Maybe you could somehow let Jesus' boss know he made a difference to a patient? I am sorry I do not know his last name.C.C.Boston
"A cancer patient's attitudinal disposition toward the treatment process and a successful outcome is so enhanced by the bright and welcoming environment you have provided for patients in your new facility. You have a wonderful, solicitous staff that responds in a very caring way for the needs and concerns of your patients."Martin WalshAuburndale, Mass.
"I want to first thank you for leading such a wonderful, caring and effective institution. We truly were fortunate to be under your care."Dr. Edward FritschConcord, Mass.
"I believe in the science, of course, but for my husband and myself, it was the teamwork, the exchange of "arts" and "lives" and "gazes" and "touch" and "caring" that won the battle. ... It takes courage to risk knowing your patients in such a rarified atmosphere where work ethic, dollars spent, expectations, and outcomes make the news every day."Beth RibeiroLexington, Mass.
“How do you thank the medical professionals who saved your child's life? We have lived under the watchful eyes of some of the best doctors and nurses in the world.”Caroline Rider, mother of CharlieLowell, Mass.
“I spoke with Fran's doctors daily about how her treatment was progressing, and they would always ask, "‘How are you and the kids holding up?’" I will be forever grateful to the nurses on 7A at Brigham and Women's Hospital and our primary nurse at Dana-Farber, Diane Ransom [at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center], who always made themselves available to us and our children. Frequently they would take us aside and answer any questions we had. This support from the nurses, social workers, and doctors formed a life raft that kept us afloat through Fran's treatment.”Henry KingDanvers, Mass.
Do you have comments about your experience at Dana-Farber? We'd love to hear from you. Please email us at any time.
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