Letters of Appreciation
Frequently, we receive letters of thanks from patients, their families and friends. We are very touched by these kind words and appreciate the time and effort made to reach us. We’d like to share excerpts from some of these letters with you.
I am a contractor and have worked in the Cancer
Registry here at UConn Health for almost four years. Recently, I grew concerned
about a small mole on my face. I spoke with
Dr. Upendra Hegde, who conducts our
registry QA and he kindly referred me to UConn Dermatology. I saw
Whitaker in early April and I would like to share my experience
I have worked in a clinical administrative/customer service role in the healthcare field most of my career. I am very particular about the healthcare providers I elect to manage my care. The criteria I look for in a physician’s practice are extremely stringent. I have often said that a physician is only as good as his or her staff. It’s not only where a doctor attended medical school or completed their training; it’s also about the support staff that represents the physician. I believe the connection that these individuals forge with patients are predicting factors as to whether or not a patient will return for continuation of care.
I would like to say that I was impressed from the moment I stepped off the elevator on the second floor of 21 South Road. At check in, I had the pleasure of meeting Eve. She was very warm and kind as she verified my information and made copies of my insurance card and ID. She was efficient but not rushed. This made me feel like a person, rather than a number. I observed her interactions with other patients as well as her colleagues in the reception area. She demonstrated professionalism in a way that stood out.
Next, I was seated in the waiting area and had a chance to observe the patients. This is also a crucial part of my assessment of a doctor’s office as idle chatter in the waiting room can be quite revealing. I had the opportunity to learn if the patients waiting to be seen were dissatisfied with any aspect of the process, from ease of scheduling an appointment to wait times to actual clinical care. The patients all seemed content and I even spoke with a few to the pass the time. Waiting was not bothersome at all.
When it was my turn, I was greeted by Tonia, who must be the most welcoming lady I have ever met. Her smile and demeanor literally lit up the room when the door opened and she called my name. She was sunshine personified. On the way to the exam room area, she asked if she pronounced my name correctly. This meant a great deal to me as I am frequently called Carolyn, not Caroline. I assured her that yes, she did and how very much I appreciated her awareness and for taking the time to ask. It’s these kinds of things that can really personalize a visit and makes one medical office stand out from another.
In the exam room, I admitted I was nervous to be there. Tonia was so engaging and reassuring that I knew I was in good hands and I hadn’t even met Dr. Whitaker yet. Tonia demonstrated the perfect combination of professionalism and compassion. I spoke with Tonia about by concerns and felt she listened to me and understood. Her empathy put me at ease and I felt less anxious and more focused when Dr. Whitaker came in the room.
I met Dr. Whitaker and was so pleased with her easygoing and caring manner. She took the time to make a connection with me and gave the impression that I was her only patient that day. When one considers how healthcare has changed over the years, this was particularly impressive to me. Dr. Whitaker was absolutely delightful. I found her to be very competent, thorough yet gentle and reassuring. She provided me with helpful information and spoke to me in a manner that let me know I mattered.
I do not know the names of the two ladies at the checkout desk but I would like to add that they were cheerful and friendly. They made it seem as though they were waiting for me specifically and were genuinely pleased my visit went well. They were accommodating of my schedule when making my next appointment for baseline comparison surveillance. And, of course, I was pleased too because my mole was completely benign.
As you know, letters born out of complaint and bad experiences can be useful tools in learning where improvements need to be made. However, it's the letters that come as a result of positive experiences can really lift a person to new heights. I believe when people are shown they’re appreciated and valued, it cultivates uplifting morale and good will spreads in the workplace. That is why you’re hearing from me. I hope you’ll share my letter with the lovely people I mentioned.
Thank you very much for your time and for allowing me to share my thoughts and experience as a patient at UConn Health.
After my last appointment I had good intentions of sitting down and writing a quick note about the wonderful care I have had as a patient of Dr. George Kuchel in Geriatrics but as so many good intentions do, forgot. I was reminded the other day of my good fortune in having Dr. Kuchel as a primary doctor when he called and spoke to me regarding some results he had received from another doctor. When I got off the phone, I told my husband how very surprised I was. I have been pleasantly surprised each visit by the quality of care - the time spent by first the resident, then Dr. Kuchel. I believe my quality of life has improved by the care I have and will continue to have under Dr. Kuchel and Geriatrics.
I am writing to tell you what a marvelous experience I had at the
endoscopy/colonoscopy center in the hospital. I have multiple medical conditions
beginning with my first brain tumor being removed at age 21, so I have been
around the block with medical situations and with my odd physiology and history,
nothing is ever easy for me. That being said, I wanted to explain the things
that were amazing and
unique to this center that inspired me to write this letter.
• ALL personnel listened to my unique needs AND responded to them.
• I usually require extra time to process the situation. That was not only allowed, but encouraged.
• ALL staff was understanding and reassuring that my fears were not unique.
• NONE of my needs were dismissed as silly.
• Privacy was respected.
• I have found medical folks just come and do things to you without warning. Once I explained my startle reflex, EVERYONE would enter and ask if it was ok if they did something.
• Many medical folks seem to see the patients as a body and NOT as a person. ALL staff seemed to see me as a person.
Specific staff and how they excelled include:
• Lisa Shive brought me in after having parking issues. My wife drives from her wheelchair. Upon asking the security guard on where to park in a wheelchair accessible space, we drove around for several minutes until we found an appropriate place. The next two people we encountered assumed that my wife was the patient since she was the one in the wheelchair. So by the time I met Lisa, I was in a frantic panic. She didn't react to my anxiety and was soothing, calming, explaining that many people have issues with this procedure who didn't spend the first half hour fighting the building and disability issues.
• Sarah Tessier is skilled far beyond her position as a medical assistant. She understood my excessive need for privacy and made sure the curtain was closed every time she walked by. She was reinforcing that my situation was not unique. Her frequent visits to check on my recovery were helpful and she spoke on a personal level.
• The anesthesiologist also was responsive to the fact that I get excessively sick from these things. She assured me that she would use the drug with the least side effects. I have also been sent home in the past while still regurgitating. She assured me that would not happen. In the procedure room, she wanted to make sure I was ready. She didn't feel the need to rush the procedure and sedate me as I was attempting to orient myself to the situation.
• Linda Maldek was also reassuring and very careful to ask and explain before she did something. She was attentive to all of her patients at the same time. She anticipated needs and asked if something would be helpful.
In sum, all of the floors and units should be run with the compassion and awareness that these people demonstrated. If all of your units were modeled after this, I would make UConn my primary source of medical care.
“The birth of a baby, a new beginning, is a time full of wonder. At the
University of Connecticut Health Center’s John Dempsey Hospital, we’re here to
make this special time positive, memorable and above all, wonderful. Our Family
Birthing Center helps us focus on what matters most: the well-being of you and
The person who wrote the above words to describe your marvelous facility, has either been a patient there themselves, knew someone who was, or is truly dedicated and loyal to your fine institution. Each person I met during my daughters stay truly followed this philosophy.
My daughter was a high risk pregnancy who was admitted to your hospital and was an inpatient for many weeks before the birth of my newest grandson born in October. He was in the NICU for weeks after birth. The experience, while unexpected and worrisome for us all, was an insight to truly gifted and caring individuals. My daughter lives four hours from me, and only because of the obvious care and devotion of your staff was I able to rest easy as I went to work daily.
From the moment one enters your campus and is welcomed by the valet service workers, the lovely ladies in the front reception area, you enter a different world. The facility is spotless, the décor soothing, and the elevators prompt. All persons one encounters, from the custodial staff to the heads of department are more than willing to give directions or lend a hand, whether they are asked or not. To a person, each was kind, cordial and went out of their way to be helpful. The cafeteria is delightful, the prices not exorbitant, and the menu varied. Doctors and nurses were kind, devoted, friendly, and gifted persons who were obviously called to their profession. All took great pride in their work, and all were professional. They cared.
In a world where so much negative abounds, where people find fault with so many aspects of the people and places around them, your institution stands out as a beacon of light to all who enter.
Thank you all for saving the life of my first born, and her first born. Both are doing very well thanks to you all. I truly believe that had they been anywhere else in the world, they may not be with us today. God bless you all.
On Halloween night my two-year-old daughter hit her head on a glass coffee table and gave herself a pretty large scalp contusion. I brought her to the ER. As soon as I walked in through the ER doors, she was being attended to. Within minutes, the ER physician assistant came to examine my daughter. He said she would be okay but just as a precaution he would like to examine her further. He then examined her as did the ER attending. We were given the okay to go home. I was so impressed by the prompt care and attention given to my little girl. I will only continue to come to the UConn ER if needed and will recommend to others as well. Thank you again!
I am writing to express my sincerest gratitude to
and appreciation for the members of your staff who cared for me during my recent
stay at your hospital.
I have been a patient of Dr. David Schmidt at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services for the best part of two years. Dr. Schmidt has always been a wonderful doctor – informative, patient, warm, and endless source of optimism – but in the last month there have been three events that have made me realize just how extraordinary he is, and how far he goes to care for his patients.
The first incident was during my transfer in early May. The doctor performing the transfer disagreed with the number of embryos to be transferred and called Dr. Schmidt to consult. Dr. Schmidt managed to drop what he was doing, rushed upstairs (literally, he ran) and sat down with me for a good ten minutes to discuss my options and counsel me. He really didn’t need to present himself; I trust him completely and would have done what he recommended over the phone but he talked to me as if I were family.
The second incident was later in May, when I showed up to the office with abdominal pain and fears of a miscarriage. Again, he managed to see me within 45 minutes (even though he was doing a transfer at the time!), performed an ultrasound and calmed me down.
Early in the morning at the end of May after receiving instructions from the Center’s on-call doctor, I arrived at the ER in severe pain. By midmorning, Dr. Schmidt was in the OR performing an exploratory laparoscopy; he found a tubal pregnancy and acute blood loss. On the way into the OR I thanked him for being there, it was quite reassuring to have him perform the surgery, rather than a stranger. I told him I did not know how he found the time and he simply said “we make the time.” I am very thankful that my regular doctor made himself available to care for me during the emergency; to him it may be a regular day, but being in his hands provided me much needed serenity.
I would also like to commend the other individuals who cared for me during hospitalization. The ER nurse Chris and the traumatologist (in my distress I missed his name) were prompt, and went a long way to make me comfortable and calm me down. The traumatologist was very gentle in his examination and soothing in his words. Shortly after he examined me, Dr. Schmidt’s fellow, Dr. Griffin, arrived and I believe led my care from this point. He was my main guide and source of information through the process, was in the OR and checked in with me that afternoon and the day after. I had met him at an earlier appointment but through this ordeal we became more acquainted; his bedside manner was a good match for me, he was detailed, direct and positive. It is a shame his position at the Center ends this month.
At the maternity ward, Amy and Irene B. were my nurses on Friday, Jenny on Saturday. All of them were sweet and gentle. I felt very pampered and safe in their hands. Eileen was my bright and cheery CNA, the first person to make me laugh after the procedure.
Finally, I have to give brownie points to the anesthesiologist, since my first words to him were “do not kill me please.” He took it in stride, was kind and not scary. I’m sorry I do not know his name, I was pretty drugged by then.
From the moment I called the Center’s after-hours emergency line to the moment I was wheeled out of the hospital, your staff mobilized promptly, treated me with respect and managed to relieve my physical pain and my emotional anguish. I am deeply grateful.
Please commend your staff on behalf of a very satisfied patient.
I was transferred to the UConn Health Center after three days in the ICU at another area hospital due to a heart attack. I went to UConn for an angioplasty, I was very scared. Joanne, from Cardio Step Down Unit, the nurse who received me was so sweet and nice to me. She and the nurses there work very hard to provide the patients with the best care. I appreciated everything they did for me. Thank you!
I would like to share some of my experience with the
GI Procedure Center in April. I was scheduled for routine procedures and was
As I walked down the corridor to the area, I was taken aback by the rather depressing concrete walls and line of curtained cubicles affording not much privacy. I thought perhaps I made a mistake using this facility.
How wrong I was! I received professional, warm attention from the entire team assigned to me. From the warm welcome at the reception area to the final send-off by the discharge nurse, I was impressed.
I realize that the care I received did not depend on the walls and curtains, but on the type of personnel working there. I now understand that a good hospital is not just concrete and instruments, but the people who work there. The entire team, from the medical assistant to Drs. Devers and Shaw, are to be commended.
The lack of privacy allowed me to observe how they treated others in the area. I received no better or less care than anyone else being treated.
I have enclosed the card I received so that specific staff may be acknowledged. Please convey my thanks also to those who helped build this great team.
Just had to write you all a note to express my thanks and appreciation. I know what it’s like to deal with individuals' personalities, responsibilities and stress on an hourly/daily basis. It can be trying at times. However, each and every one of you showed no negative signs of the above… just the opposite!
My first stay on the 7th floor after back surgery, to say the least, was wonderful! When I decided to go forward with my second surgery, the thought of being back on the 7th floor was a big factor in my decision. I really kind of missed you all!
My stays were short compared to others, but I felt like a little kid after his first stay at camp... couldn’t wait to get back! Sounds silly, but it’s true. The professionalism, attention, concern, interest and sincerity toward my well-being and comfort was genuine and expressed by all staff, from supervisors, nurses, transport, and housekeeping. There is no special order, you’re all equal!
The teasing, jokes, and hearty laughs (which went both ways) was my best medicine. It was a pleasure to be around you all. I kind of felt part of the gang!
I’m doing very well at home, and progressing quickly. You all know I can’t sit still!
Well, good health and happiness to all on the 7th, and always be proud of your influence on others.
Thanks for all your care.
Oh yea, thanks for helping me memorize my name and birthday!
We would like to express our thanks and appreciation for the wonderful care Dr. Makkar gave to our daughter during her hemangioma treatment. You and your staff were amazing and we could not have asked for better care. We are truly grateful to have had you as her doctor. Thank you!
Dr. Makkar, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the excellent work you did removing the skin cancer from my face. The scar is barely noticeable and I am truly grateful for your surgical expertise. Your staff was also compassionate and reassuring with the entire process. I would highly recommend your center to family and friends.
I would not forgive myself if I didn’t try to write
to thank you. But I don’t’ think any words could possibly be adequate to express
my feelings or gratitude to you. How do you thank a person for saving your
health and extending your life? It’s impossible.
I think of all the people on the 6th floor and that line from a Paul Simon song comes to mind, “These are the days of miracles and wonders…”
Anyway, thank you. I go to church and on my knees I say “Thank you for Dr. Hook and all the people on the 6th floor.”
What luck, what blessings. Take care of yourself and all the best to you and yours. I hope we meet again one day.
I just wanted to send you a note to thank you for my successful Mohs surgery Dr. Makkar performed in July. I’ve finally taken the Band-Aid off. My whole procedure was painless and I appreciate everything you and your staff did to make the surgery certainly not an unpleasant experience. You are gifted and very kind young surgeon. Also, please thank Lea for being a “peach” of a nurse. She was a very stabilizing and wonderful nurse I am sure her daughter will follow in her very capable footsteps. Thank you again.
Here I am again, singing the praises of the UConn
Health Center New England Musculoskeletal Institute. I have written you more
than a few times to tell you how wonderful the doctors, nurses and all the staff
I know this letter will sound a lot like the ones before, but it has to be said again.
I had the pleasure of visiting there in July. I went for an injection performed by Dr. Joseph Walker. It would be hard for me to trust anyone else to do an injection in my spine. I have absolutely no fear at all when I’m in his hands. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have found such a wonderful doctor. Of course, all my doctors at the New England Musculoskeletal Institute are super heroes for me.
I want to take this moment to single out the fine people that tended to me that day. It wouldn’t be the same if I went there and I didn’t see Mark. What a fantastic human being. He is so caring and fun. I so look forward to seeing him. We’re like old friends now. Don’t’ lose this guy. You’re lucky to have him. So am I.
Then of course there’s Karen for my pre- and post-op. Lovely girl, very efficient. She won’t leave until her patient is secured or ready for release. I sure do like that.
Chris, Chuck and Al in the OR were very kind and expert at their jobs too. What a team. I can’t believe my luck having them in there with me. Chris is like an old pal too.
Of course, Tracy was a lovely girl and helped take care of me post-op too – and with a wonderful smile.
As always, my experience at the New England Musculoskeletal Institute was wonderful.
I forgot to mention the very first person you see at Dr. Walker’s office. She should be mentioned. Jody, I love that girl. She’s always caring and ready to help. She’s like Dr. Walker’s right hand.
Thank you again and please express my gratitude to all my friends who took such wonderful care of me that day.
We are writing in regard to my hospital stay in
September 2012. I had acute pneumonia and MRSA and was a patient on your floor.
We were actually on a trip to Connecticut to babysit our granddaughter when I
was taken ill, so my husband spent most of his time with me at the hospital:
hence the opinions are from both of us.
During my stay we did not encounter one negative person and everyone we came in contact with was professional, courteous and concerned with my well being: from the staff in the Emergency Room, housekeeping, food service, nursing staff to interns and doctors. I have had a few hospital stays and my experience at your hospital was by far the best care I have ever received. Since everyone we came in contact with was exceptional, and especially the nursing staff, we hesitate to mention any names for fear of leaving someone out, but one of your nurses, Kelly Kucia went way beyond the call of duty for us and deserves a very special thanks for her efforts. I found out that I would need a doctor's letter from your hospital in order to fly home to Florida and Kelly took care of that for us, faxing the letter to our son at his place of work and following up to make sure that we received it. We also met with the pulmonologist, Dr. Foley prior to leaving and he spent a great deal of time explaining my condition and treatment to us.
Please extend our deepest appreciation to all of your staff for the wonderful care I received while at your hospital.
In July, I had shoulder surgery done by
Shea. I just wanted to tell you how wonderful my experience was at the Health
Center. The entire staff was warm, professional and concerned starting with my
first contact, Dana.
First of all I think Dr. Shea is the best! He is upbeat, upfront, concerned and caring. Before my release, he sat down with my husband and me and acted as if he had no other patients and that he had plenty of time to answer all my questions. Kim Stanowski, his physician assistant, was very professional and helpful. I always felt confident that I was getting the best care and was always at ease during my follow-up appointments.
On the day of the surgery I was a little nervous but the entire staff put my worries to rest. The anesthesiologist sat down with me and allayed my fears. And I have to say that this is the first time that I awoke from surgery and was not nauseated or got sick. It was as if I had just taken a nap.
Everyone I came in contact with was a professional and seemed to be genuinely happy to be there. It was a calm and reassuring atmosphere. I have high praise for the University of Connecticut Health Center and I make sure everyone I know hears about it. I wouldn't hesitate in the least to recommend your outpatient services. A special thank you goes to Maribeth, Mark, and Lisa in pre-op; Dr. Shea, Dr. Shaw, Kelli, Terri, and Lauren in the OR; Georgiana in recovery and the young man that wheeled me out to the car. They all made me feel comfortable, safe and positive.
Onyiuke operated on my back and gave me eight great years of mobile freedom
back to my life. I had developed degenerative disc disease which I say came from
a severe accident while in basic training in the United States Army back in
Though I worked for many years to support my family, I put off needed surgery by self medicating in many different ways to the point of addiction. With Dr. Onyiuke's care and guidance, I have given up the use of narcotics for any type of pain unless severe and highly guarded by him. He has also helped me stop smoking cigarettes, a 40 year off and on habit of two to three packs per day.
Doctor Onyiuke doesn't know it but he gave me the freedom of mobility I hadn't had in many years with little to no pain in my lower back after I had healed completely from surgery. Since his surgery I was had been doing great.
I was back to work full-time for a few years until I fell off a horse and damaged a stimulator in my back and broke three ribs. I became morbidly obese because of depression which set in and the pain I was going through being bedridden most of the time and every time it rained my pain increased.
For the last year Dr. Onyiuke had me go on a diet until reaching the specified goal to perform surgery again where I pray and hope to get at least another ten or more years of great health through his expertise in the musculoskeletal field. I recommend him highly and have waited patiently as we have exhausted every other avenue before performing surgery to both our satisfaction.
Thank you and your care giving staff for all your professionalism in helping me become whole again.
Dr. Onyiuke, God bless you and your hands.
I want to say THANK YOU to all very special people
who gave me their professional and human help during (also before and after) my
endoscopy and colonoscopy procedure. I don't know all their names but I would
like to name those I know first:
Devers, Lisa – medical assistant, Annina and Francisca – admitting nurses,
and Kinga and Terri – recovery nurses.
You are the best guys and you represent the best hospital in USA.
God Bless All of You.
I was in excruciating pain from a herniated lumbar disk and was hospitalized on the 7th floor. Every one of the nurses and the other staff members were absolutely outstanding. They were highly skilled, professional, compassionate and absolutely delightful individuals. I won't soon forget the wonderful care I received from Ula, Micky, Ileana, Krystyna, Barbara B. and Donna from PT, David Kotler, Dr. Onyiuke and several others whose names I can't recall (due to pain meds). Real teamwork was evident. UConn Health Center is truly fortunate to have these professionals on their staff.