WENDY GETTLEMAN: I'll just introduce myself again. So what I didn't say before was I'm also a hotel-y. I'm married to a hotel-y. And I'm thrilled to be here. And my career path started in food and beverage, transitioned into health care food and beverage, and then somehow transitioned into design and construction.
And in my current role, I combine all three of them, so I'm thrilled to hear about this minor. I think it's really an exciting opportunity, and I'm here to just give you a few examples from Dana-Farber about hospitality and health care. And I'll give you-- we can talk about it a little bit.
So for those of you that are not familiar with Dana-Farber, we are a cancer institute, and we have basically a double mission. It's half research and half clinical care. So a lot of the discussion today has been about inpatient hospitals or hospitals, but we really do have-- it's a 50/50 split.
My team is Facilities Management and Real Estate. And I just put this slide up because I think oftentimes when I'm talking people think about the operational side, the maintenance side. That's certainly part of it. We have a union staff. We also have food service and the planning, design, and construction as well as the real estate, parking, and transportation-- basically all the things that you think about that are not clinical that make the facility run.
So one of the things when I started talking, thinking about-- Brooke asked me to think about hospitality-- is parking and valet. And we haven't talked a little bit about that at all today. But I receive at least a letter a week from our patients and their family members about our parking and valet service. And you say to yourself, really? It's not an exaggeration. And some of them are really quite detailed.
And what's interesting is a couple things. Number one, it's when you learn in school about making first impressions and last impressions. And really, that's what that is all about. So we have-- if you think about your valet parking program, it's making a first impression and last impression, and you have that opportunity.
We hire folks who are engaging and willing to make a personal connection. I have had examples of a valet parker who asked for the afternoon off because he needed to attend a funeral of one of his favorite pediatric patients. And it was a really sad day for him, but the family was so appreciative. He actually spoke at the child's funeral.
So you can make-- and so people think, OK, well how much time are we talking about? And it's only just a few moments. But just like you were talking about knowing the name of the dog, it's knowing the name of the person and their family and asking about them. And it's really powerful.
So I won't read these, but are we going to have presentations available?
SPEAKER 1: We have a--
So I would encourage you--
SPEAKER 1: Available via a PDF of the slides [INAUDIBLE].
WENDY GETTLEMAN: Great. They're touching. And this is just an example of one of our valet team members. And just last week, I had to add this one because the patient drew this and sent it our way. So it's just really special.
On the food service side, we have a huge outpatient facility. We have a smaller inpatient facility that's embedded within Brigham and Women's Hospital. But our outpatient-- we don't have a cafeteria. We have a dining pavilion. And it is a little bit different. We do focus very much on healthy foods but also comfort foods.
Our dining pavilion is for our faculty, our staff, and our patients all together. And so it's important to have a different variety. The cashiers are trained to move the line, but they're also trained to take a moment to smile and engage. And if they see a repeat patient member or staff member--
Sometimes it's the staff member who's having a really tough day. And some time it's a family member that's having a really tough day. And if you can engage with them and make a connection, that really can make a difference.
Staff experience is important. When we were designing our current outpatient facility, we have-- and I'll talk about this a little bit more-- Patient-Family Advisory Council. And I think I've heard a few of you have similar ones. Our Patient-Family Advisory Council is extremely engaged at every level of the operation, whether we're designing a new facility or operating that facility. And they have a lot of power, and they have great insight.
And we had a retreat at the beginning of the design process for this building, and one of the-- at the end of the retreat, I think we were together for about four hours. It's really engaging. It was great. We had physicians. We had nurses. We had technicians. We had patients. We had family members. And we were all sitting around.
And at the end of one, of the patients put her hand up and she said, you know, we spent the last four hours talking about how to make a connection with our patients and how to improve our patient experience. And she said, but I really think what you should be talking about is how to improve your staff experience, because if you have happy staff members, you're going to have really happy patients. And that has really resonated with me, with my team, and we carry that through.
We have cooking classes. We have-- this picture right here on the left is one of our executive chefs actually meeting with some of our pediatric patients and their siblings in our PD clinic, just trying to create something with food. And it was intended to be healthy, it was intended to be fun, and it was also intended to just take their mind off of what's going on right now. And that's really successful.
We've hired a chef from the Four Seasons. And you say, oh, OK. How did you get a chef from the Four Seasons? Well, if you think about-- so he has a young family. He's working crazy hours, and he can get involved in a health care environment which is a little bit more norm. And he's been fantastic. And so actually, we just hired another one, a sous chef. So I think there's that possibility.
Switching gears from food for a moment to facilities. So many of you know it takes a lot to keep a large facility, 2 and 1/2 million square feet, running. And you don't have to think about what's behind the scenes. People just expect it to run. You expect your heating and air conditioning to work, right? You expect the lights to turn on when you turn them on.
But a lot of times what happens is a work order goes in, and the person's not 100% sure that anything was done-- so especially if it's a comfort issue. So we started a program where sometimes what happens is the work order goes in and there needs to be a part that's ordered, so it's going to take a little bit longer than maybe a day or two or a week.
So we leave a card in the office location or in the patient's room to say, we were here. We received your request to make this change or this improvement, and we're working on it. And we expect that-- whatever the timeline is. Or we had to order a part, and we should have something in two weeks. And that's really helped because I think people weren't sure that anybody heard them or got the request. So we also do satisfaction surveys, again. And it's just it's just bringing the circle full speed-- full forward.
And the other thing that we-- we had a staff survey recently, and the staff were indicating that they felt a little underappreciated. A lot of times-- other than our parking staff. They get these tremendous accolades. Some of our staff, especially in the facilities operations team, they don't hear very much. Just kind of goes on.
And so I've tried to recognize them also. I try and do quarterly handwritten notes. If somebody has outstanding work order performance or they haven't missed a day of work in a quarter or if I get a really fantastic compliment, just to recognize them makes a really big difference and keeps them up and running.
I mentioned our Patient-Family Advisory Council. So we're right now in the process of designing 140,000 square feet of an outpatient facility in what used to be an old mall. For any of you who are familiar with the Boston area, it was a Chestnut Hill Atrium Mall. And these are pictures that we just took last week of members looking at our mock-up.
And we really do engage a very large contingent in our design process. We've had-- we're about finishing DD design-- Design Development-- and we've had about 200 user group meetings, a little over actually. And they really are-- it's important to get it right. For those of you who are in design and construction, it's a lot easier to ask the questions upfront than to redo the work after you've built it.
So that's what this is all about, and making sure that we have life sized mock-ups, and asking the opinions not only of the physicians and the nurses but of the Patient-Family Advisory Council and other members, other patients who might be interested to engage in-- what is important to them?
When we were building our Yawkey Center-- and this was eight years ago-- there was a lot of interest in having some open infusion areas. I had a patient come to me and say, you know, every Wednesday I get my infusion, and if I couldn't sit next to my friend Susan, I can't imagine what I would do.
And it's really interesting now. So this many years later, we're asking the same questions. And there's a lot more interest in privacy. And so the design is going to be a little bit different, but it's really important that we get people's views and current views and that we're asking the right questions to the right people.
And then, I'm going back to what's really important-- not only looking at the patient experience and what we think is right and what the patients are telling us is right, but also the employee experience and trying to create office spaces, collaborative office spaces, nurturing office spaces that they can go back to and feel good about.
Where they are officing, oftentimes they don't have a large space-- we don't have a large space for them to go back to. But if we can create a space that is warm and welcoming and have enough amenity space and huddle rooms and collaboration opportunities, and design it in a way that they also feel good about their space--
Carolyn was just mentioning that she hasn't had a window ever. [LAUGHS] And sometimes--
SPEAKER 3: I'm getting it somehow.
WENDY GETTLEMAN: And I get that. I get that. I've had offices everywhere below grade possible. But to be able to try and create spaces for the staff, including yourselves, to try and create some element that's special, that allows you-- whether it's an image or the real thing.
So that's what we're trying to do here, is creating new employee work spaces that can engage our staff. And that's it. Is there anything-- I don't know. Jeff, you didn't have an opportunity for questions either.
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Wendy Gettleman, SHA ‘87, Vice President of Facilities Management & Real Estate, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, speaks about the Dana-Farber approach to specialty cancer care – combining hospitality and healthcare to provide compassionate care in a healing environment. The talk was part of the Healthy Futures Roundtable held on October 10th, 2018.