Rochester General Hospital President’s Message: Organ Donations Award, Bariatric Accreditation, Harry Potter Exhibit, and More!

July 2017

Dear Team,


Summer is in full swing! I hope everyone is making some time to relax and enjoy the season with family and friends. We’ve been busy, but we need to take care of ourselves and our loved ones as well as our patients and coworkers.


Throughout the past month, I enjoyed connecting with members of our team through a series of town hall meetings. Thank you for attending and actively participating. We had some meaningful conversations about health care on the national stage and the construction of the Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care. We also discussed what we are doing to improve the patient experience while taking steps toward becoming a high-reliability organization – something common in industries like air travel and nuclear power, but less common in health care.


As we continue to adopt practices to be a high-reliability organization, you will more frequently hear a term we started using over the past few months: “pre-occupation with failure.” To be pre-occupied with failure is to consider any potential risks to patients and bring them up to your team. Near-miss events are chances to improve processes and make care safer. It’s critical we all embrace this mindset.


Speaking of being ready for anything, I would be remiss if I did not mention that once again, our team answered the call in the face of multiple crisis situations. On Saturday, June 24, a Rochester Police Officer was brought to our Emergency Department with a gunshot wound. The officer received excellent care while our teams also took care of his family, friends and fellow police officers, providing a safe and comforting setting with privacy from the public and the media. During the press conference at 3:30 Sunday morning, Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli was quoted saying, “We are very, very grateful to Rochester General Hospital for not only the medical care for our officer, but for their caring and their support for the officer, his family and Rochester Police Officers.”


Later that same week, in an unrelated incident, two patients were dropped off at the hospital with gunshot wounds. As the patients got the care they needed, our security team worked with police to keep the hospital safe amidst escalating tensions and a verbal threat to our security officers. Through quick action, our team secured the entire hospital campus while the threat was investigated by police. Because of everyone’s collaboration, the safety of patients, visitors and staff was never in question.


I continue to be very impressed by the skill, professionalism and caring nature of our entire RGH team. Whether it’s in the face of a crisis or the pursuit of ambitious patient care goals, you have proven time and again to be up for the challenge. Our patients are fortunate to have you.


Lead courageously,


RGH Receives Rare Platinum Level Award for Promoting Organ Donations

This spring, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) awarded RGH their Platinum Level Workplace Partnership Award. In 2016, we received the Silver Level Award. For the second consecutive year, our hospital was the only one in the region to receive an award for promoting organ, eye and tissue donations. The Platinum Level Award is the HRSA’s highest level of national recognition. Congratulations to the RGH Organ Donor Leadership Team and the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network for being among best in the region – and the country – for promoting such an important effort.


RGH Now Offers World’s Smallest Pacemaker

In June, the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute team successfully completed the first implant procedures for the Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System. The smallest pacemaker in the world, it’s 90 percent smaller than a traditional pacemaker – about the same size as a vitamin pill. Because it can be placed inside the heart, the patient does not have to deal with the bulge or discomfort that can be caused by a traditional pacemaker. The Micra device is implanted through a vein, resulting in no incision or scar. For patients who cannot receive a traditional pacemaker, this is a life-saving alternative.


Bariatric Surgery Team Earns Re-Accreditation

This spring, the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) re-accredited Rochester General Hospital as a bariatric center. To achieve re-accreditation, our team had to demonstrate a commitment and accountability to increasingly high quality and safety standards while adopting emerging best practices. Congratulations to our team for their ongoing improvement in this important specialty.


Harry Potter Comes to RGH

The Werner Medical Library presents Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic and Medicine, a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine. The exhibit examines Harry Potter’s world, its roots in Renaissance science and ethical questions that impacted wizards and other characters in the popular series.

All employees, patients and visitors are welcome to see the exhibit on first floor between the Surgical Waiting Area and the Parnall Office Building. It opened on July 7 and will be available through August 12.


  • Brian Wight, MD, a radiologist, attended Upstate Medical Center. Dr. Wight completed his internship with United Health Services in Johnson City, NY, his residency at Rochester General Hospital and a fellowship at the University of Rochester.