Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Marathon tragedy: MGHers respond


"I know that I speak for all the Trustees of the MGH and MGPO when I express our collective gratitude for the way in which you all responded to the demands of the terrible tragedy at the Boston Marathon. We want to thank all of you for your dedication to the hospital, the excellent care you provide and your amazing work.”
– Cathy E. Minehan, chair of the MGH Board of Trustees

"Many of those who gave blood were runners, friends, family and spectators at the marathon. We had 248 people donate at our donor center and two bloodmobiles on Monday and Tuesday. As we spoke to people waiting in line, we learned that some were from out of state and wanted to donate before they flew out. Others had been at the finish line and said that they had to come and donate after what they saw. We have had calls from people from as far as Virginia who are coming to donate next week and even received calls from Canada inquiring about donating. It is heartwarming to see so many people showing their support. Although we were here to collect blood, we were also giving people an emotional outlet to share their stories and to turn a negative into a real positive by giving blood and helping others.”
– Kim Cronin, MGH Blood Donor Center manager

“It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Everyone just came together. It wasn’t just the doctors and nurses, and it wasn’t just the Emergency Department – it was an entire team effort across all MGH departments. Transport immediately helped get other patients upstairs, and Dr. Dzik from Blood Transfusion Services was right here with coolers. Our nonclinical staff was also incredible. Environmental Services had the trauma rooms clean and ready, the support associates had them stocked, and Registration and unit coordinators also did a phenomenal job. It was like nothing I have ever seen before. There was nothing we needed that we didn't have right away.”
– Meghan McDonald, RN, clinical nurse specialist, MGH Emergency Services

"I am angry and just trying to sort out why the 107 dedicated folks on our MGH Marathon Team Fighting Kids’ Cancer One Step at a Time’ who were running to alleviate the suffering of others were put in harms’ way by an evil act. Our prayers go out to the victims and their families. We will be back next year as a stronger and more determined team.”
– Howard Weinstein, MD, chief of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Hematology-Oncology Unit and founder and captain of the Mass General Marathon Team, which has raised more than $600,000

“Our hearts go out to all who have been personally affected by the devastating events of April 15. As has been the compassionate and generous tradition since the founding of MGH 201 years ago, we have received an influx of calls from donors and friends interested in supporting any efforts by Mass General to treat Boston Marathon victims and their families. In response to these requests, we have set up a web page that informs those interested in ways they can help,”
– Jim Thompson, vice president for MGH Development

"I am so proud of the team who came together on Monday in the Blum Center to support family members and friends of those affected by this tragedy. The care, concern, expertise and teamwork of colleagues in Nursing, Psychiatry, Social Services, the Emergency Department, Chaplaincy, PCS Clinical Support Services, Police and Security and others were absolutely phenomenal.”
Brian M. French, RN, director, The Maxwell & Eleanor Blum Patient and Family Learning Center

"We had about 70 volunteers call in to our office between 3 and 4:30 pm on Monday afternoon. These were volunteers who were not scheduled to be here. It was an extraordinary, unsolicited response.”
– Wayne Newell, director of MGH Volunteer Services

“I felt so fortunate to be in the right place at right time to assist these patients, doctors and nurses in any way I could. It was an honor to help.”
– Rose McCabe, Emergency Services volunteer

“I was so emotional and sad at the beginning, but as time went on I realized I was simply glad to do what needed to be done.”
– Frederique Schutzberg, Emergency Services volunteer

"This is not an individual sport. The marathon might be, but taking care of all these patients is not. At the end of the day, it is not because of an individual, it’s because the entire system brought its A-game and functioned nearly flawlessly. The MGH made me proud, and I’m proud to be here. I would like to think that – as tragic as this event is, and as horrible as all the injuries are – we will rise from the ashes, and we will be stronger.” – David King, MD, trauma and acute care surgeon “
The president was extremely complimentary of the team efforts – the nurses, the physicians, the social workers, everybody within the departments that he encountered – talking about the great teamwork and how the survival of the patients is really dependent on that. He was extremely complimentary and many people were very thankful that he came and honored that he took the time to shake hands with the patients and staff.”
– Alice Gervasini, RN, PhD, nurse director, Trauma and Emergency Surgery Program, about President Barack Obama’s visit to the MGH on April 18

"The response on the part of the runners, the patient-partner families, and MGH staff has been tremendous. I can’t count the number of calls and emails I have received from people wanting to make sure that our team members are safe. In the midst of many chaotic hours and a rush of emotions, it was very evident to me that our team is about so much more than fundraising and running. These runners put in countless hours training and fundraising in support of their partner families, and it was touching to see that same concern given right back to them during this time of need.”
– Casey Conway, MGH Development coordinator and manager of the Miles for MassGeneral, Cystic Fibrosis Marathon Team, which has raised nearly $70,000

"I don’t think there is a single person in Boston that hasn't suffered an emotional toll. And I don’t think that the doctors and the nurses and every single person in this hospital are an exception. We were all extremely moved, and I think, shattered by the event. Having said that, our mission is to provide care. We will not be stalled or hampered by our emotional reactions. We are all trauma surgeons and emergency medicine physicians, and we are – sad to say – used to these devastating events, so we set our emotions aside to take care of the patients.” – George Velmahos, MD, PhD, chief of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care

Read more articles from the 04/19/13 Hotline issue.

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