January 2018 Rochester General Hospital President’s Message


Dear Team,

Thanks for making my first full year at RGH so memorable. I’m looking forward to building upon our accomplishments in 2018, but first, I want to take a moment to reflect on our very successful 2017.

Our work brought us some great moments and kicked off some even greater long-term efforts. This spring we caught a glimpse of the future of Rochester General Hospital when we broke ground on the Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care. Later on we formed our first transformation teams to prepare us for the transition to our new space in 2020.

We made changes to our daily work—adopting visual management boards that empower units to identify and pursue key goals as a team. The visual management boards help each unit improve in areas like medication scanning, patient experience, teamwork and key quality goals.  The use of the visual management boards proved especially successful in pursuing one of our system’s most significant milestones of the year: HIMSS7 certification.

Our team internalized the values of a high reliability organization. We’ve become preoccupied with failure, learning to ask each other the Five Whys in questionable situations. We’re also incorporating Safe Connect as a new communication tool to make care safer for patients and the workplace safer for each other.

Your ability to embrace change and ongoing improvement touches every patient, every day. It also makes us a more efficient hospital – one of the most compelling examples of our success is reducing our average length of stay from 5.5 days to 5.15 days. This was achieved due to each team member’s work in building efficiency into the workflow.

We’ve made these improvements while continuing to place time and effort in making compassionate personal connections with our patients, their families and, most importantly, each other. It remains true: every interaction matters. Last year we made strides in our plans to transform the patient experience, something we will continue to build upon.  

The Rochester General Hospital family also grew last year, as we welcomed new team members, physicians and leaders. Your welcoming attitude and collaborative nature have allowed our talented new team members to jump in and have an immediate impact.  

As this new year brings a new level of commitment and we look to build upon our success, we should all remember how fortunate we are to do what we do for a living: we “get to” impact the lives of others every day. It’s a privilege for which I remain grateful and I hope you all feel the same way.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve alongside you.

Lead courageously,


  • The long‐awaited connector between the Carter Street Garage and the Medical Office Building is open.
    What a great job by our construction team! The connector is heated, well‐lit and equipped with benches,
    railings and security cameras. Now patients, visitors and team members have a safer, more comfortable and
    much warmer walk to the hospital.
  • For updates on the Sands‐Constellation Center for Critical Care project, check the update page on the RGH portal or follow this link.

Monday, January 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and from 9‐9:30 am, we are holding a special ceremony at RGH
led by keynote speaker and local award‐winning journalist, Janet Lomax. Please make every effort to attend this
experience as we honor the legacy of Dr. King and continue his work as caregivers and as members of our
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a beautiful reminder of how diversity helps us to grow, learn and be better than we
could have ever imagined. I am proud to see our team of great diversity, talents and perspectives all focused on the
same goal – caring for our patients.

“Everybody can be great… because everybody can serve.”
‐ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A New Space for Young Families
On December 19, RGH celebrated a milestone for our system’s growing partnership with Ronald McDonald House
Charities of Rochester as we cut the ribbon on our new Pediatric Family Lounge. The lounge is located on the third
floor next to the special care nursery and will feature a small kitchenette, comfortable seating and a play area for
young children.
Even seemingly small comforts like these make a world of difference for families who spend stressful hours and days
visiting in the hospital. We are grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities for their commitment to this critical
part of the patient – and visitor – experience.

On Wednesday, January 3, Rochester Regional Health initiated flu visitor restrictions in all hospitals. Here is what
you need to know to help keep our patients, visitors and coworkers safe:

Visitor restrictions include:

  • Only two visitors per patient at a time
    • Parents/caregivers are not counted as visitors
  • All visitors must be at least 14 years old
    • Exception: Healthy siblings of any age may visit newborns
  • Patients should not receive visitors who are experiencing:
    • Sore throat, fever, running nose, coughing, sneezing, or other flu‐like symptoms (even if the visitor
      has been vaccinated against the flu)

All team members should also remember:

  • If you received your flu vaccination shot, wear your 2017/2018 Flu Stops Here badge with your hospital ID.
  • If you have not been vaccinated, you must wear a mask in all patient areas. Free flu shots are still available
    at Employee Health Services.