For an audience of 120 clinicians, clergy and community members in Lankenau Medical Center’s Auditorium, WHYY radio host Daniel Gottlieb, PhD, set the stage for the Ruth Grandin Symposium, Inspirations from the Dying, by saying, “The purpose of our discussion is not to learn new things but to unlearn old things—assumptions, expectations, our five-year plan.”
The Ruth Grandin Faith, Health and Human Experience Symposium at Lankenau Medical Center provided a forum for health care workers, clergy and faith leaders to explore jointly the connections between faith and health in order to enhance healing of patients, family members and the community.
Drawing insight from his experience in the past 35 years, which included a crippling auto accident, MRSA, sepsis, pneumonia, and three concussions, the psychologist and family therapist noted, “Learning to live with dying teaches us how to live.” He added, “The real difference between life and death is breath,” mentioning several biblical passages where breath was the highlighted as the key element.
Dr. Gottlieb (seated in photo) encouraged the audience members to explore their own understanding, viewpoint and awareness of life and death through essays written and read by MLH staff members, who were asked to relate an experience with a terminally ill individual.
Reading their essays were (from left in photo, standing) Barbara Bryne Notte, Reike master teacher, BMH; Susan A. Gregory, MD, medical director, Lankenau Medical Center ICU; David L. Phillips, EdD, Lankenau Medical Center Development executive director; and Thomas J. Meyer, MD, Pulmonary Diseases/ICU, Lankenau Medical Center. Their essays were selected from 25 submitted; all 25 were published in a booklet for the attendees.
Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.
At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.
The Main Line Health system also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.
Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award, and recognition as among the nation’s best employers by Forbes magazine. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.
Lankenau Medical Center, a member of Main Line Health, is recognized as a national leader in advancing new options to diagnose and treat illness, protect against disease and save lives. Located on a 93-acre campus just outside of Philadelphia, Lankenau Medical Center is a 389-bed, not-for-profit teaching hospital that includes one of the nation’s leading cardiovascular centers; the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, one of the few freestanding hospital-associated research centers in the nation; and the Annenberg Conference Center for Medical Education, that trains over 100 new physicians each year through nationally ranked residency and fellowship programs. Lankenau has received both regional and national recognition for its excellence in providing state-of-the-art, quality care. Lankenau Medical Center has been named among the top 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania and top five in the Philadelphia metro area in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2016–17, and was ranked as high-performing in four specialties: gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, orthopedics and pulmonology. Lankenau was also ranked as high performing in all nine of the Common Core specialty areas that the publication analyzes, including: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, COPD, colon cancer surgery, congestive heart failure, heart bypass surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. Lankenau has achieved The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care and breast cancer care and is one of the nation’s Top Performing Hospitals for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Lankenau has also been ranked for multiple years as one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation by Truven Health Analytics. Lankenau has also earned the highest distinction for excellence in nursing care, the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet® designation.