A Hero Among Us: The Sky is the Limit

Added on Nov 6, 2015

By Patrick T. Ryan, Chief Executive Officer

plane2Everyone who knows Dr. Thomas Lee or who has read his books or heard him speak about health care strategy knows that he is a passionate champion for empathy in health care delivery. Now everyone who was on his Boston-bound plane ​a few nights ago knows it, too.

Flying home from a visit with a health system in the Dallas area, Tom, who is a practicing cardiologist and chief medical officer of Press Ganey, responded to a flight attendant’s call for a doctor to help a passenger in distress.

tom_lee“I went back to help, and realized the passenger was having a stroke,” Tom told me. “I said that we had to land.” The plane was diverted to Columbus, while Tom provided care that I have no doubt was compassionate and empathetic and the passenger was rushed to a stroke center for immediate and potentially life-saving treatment.

Like Tom, there are health care leaders, physicians and nurses who make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients in their communities—and even high above their communities—every day. Their passion for what they do, and the compassion with which they do it, is inspiring. In my travels to health care systems across the country, it is my privilege to meet so many of these heroes, and here in Boston, it is my honor to work with one every day.