Letter to the Editor

Your view: Praise for MDMC

Monday, July 14, 2008

Please print the letter below concerning our experience with Missouri Delta Community Center. We feel it is important for people in this region to recognize what a medical asset we have in MDMC. Also, it is our hope that other medical workers will be inspired to do their very best everyday as did the mentioned parties.

Dear Board of Directors, Administrators and Staff,

Our family feels compelled to speak out about our recent positive experience at Missouri Delta Medical Center. Our father was hospitalized at your facility for 35 days, 29 of which were in ICU, because it is the hospital with which his physician, Dr. Steven Douglas, is associated. We were not concerned about the quality of care Dr. Douglas would provide, as past experience with this outstanding professional had been only the very best, most attentive care. We admit there was some reluctance on our part in utilizing your facility because of past mistakes of staff and personnel of which others had informed us. However, in the recent past, various family members and friends have utilized services and care at both hospitals in Cape Girardeau and in numerous hospitals in St. Louis and found care to be less than exemplary. As Blair Moran, Executive Director of the Missouri Delta Medical Foundation, pointed out after discussion of some of these incidents at other hospitals, "we hear about mistakes at Sikeston because we are a small town and a small region where everyone hears everything, however, the same incidents take place in the hospitals in larger towns and cities, but we fail to hear about them because of their mere size."

Throughout our 29 days in the ICU, we came into contact with the most competent, compassionate, caring, attentive staff one could ever hope to have for a beloved family member. This outstanding care was provided by everyone including Dr. Steven Douglas and his assistant Tammy; Dr.Rahat Salamat, the pulmonologist; Dr. Mohammad Salamat, the oncologist; Dr. S. Afraz Salahuddin, the neurologist; the entire respiratory therapy team including Shannon, Mark, and the females I failed to get names for but who were always cheerful; the Director of ICU Nurses, Donna Hicks; the ICU nurses including Steve Hampton, Regina Brown, Cathy Geiser, Brandy Hanner, Laura Little, Jeremy Mooty, Mark Lynch, Nikki Rehak, and Bettina Moxley; the nurse's aides including Richard Best and Amy Featherston, and even Joe from 2E; the social worker, Kim Wilcox; the nutritionist, Becky Kuykendall; the phlebotomy staff, the housekeeping staff, and the always kind and helpful "Pink Ladies". Charles Ingram, surgical assistant, took the time to visit and spread love and good cheer several times a day; he is your very best asset for public relations, whether you realize it or not; he is "Joy Walking!"

We found everyone that was involved in our father's care to be knowledgeable and we were kept informed of everything they were doing and why they were doing it; they answered every question that we had, taking time to explain with great patience. They anticipated the needs of our father and did everything humanly possible to treat him with dignity and compassion and to ensure his comfort. They allowed the family constant access to our father, as they knew our time together was limited. They worked around us, never complaining or making us feel as if we were in the way. They understood the positive impact that our family could have with our father's care, even though it must have seemed disruptive to their typical routines. They were upbeat and cheerful, full of optimism, yet honest at all times. They shared personal experiences with us that helped us with decisions and provided us with tremendous comfort.

Prior to the transition to Comfort Care, we requested that our father be allowed to remain in the ICU in order for him to continue to receive the same compassionate care from those who had provided it for the previous four weeks. The doctors and staff complied with our wishes and for this decision we are eternally grateful! Blessed by God, and with your most loving nursing staff at our side, our father passed away so peacefully and without a struggle within two days after being removed from the life sustaining equipment.

In short, the staff became like family and despite what personal risk it was to their emotional state, they were so humane. We never felt as if our father was "just a number." All of these fine qualities exemplified the difference in your institution from those mentioned in other towns and cities. In a terminally ill situation, such as ours, your facility is the one a family should choose if they truly want their family member to receive superior care.

We will continue to spread our story of what an outstanding experience we had with Missouri Delta Medical Center, despite the sad outcome, in hopes that others may benefit from choosing your medical facility in the future. The nurse motto at MDMC should be: "To do your best at all times, no matter the circumstances, no matter who the patient is." Your care does make a difference in many, many lives!


The Family of E. Riley Brown, Jr.

Charleston, Mo