The importance of quality care – and a personal touch
Edmund Lukas of West Barnstable and Manhattan is a former vice president of the New York Stock Exchange and has had access to some of the best medical care at the hospitals in New York City. But it was his recent stay at Cape Cod Hospital that gave him a new appreciation for the level of professionalism, kindness and medical care that is available here on Cape Cod.
“The care of your doctors, medical staff, attendees and volunteers was of the highest standards,” Lukas wrote in a letter of appreciation to Michael K. Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare. “From the emergency care to complicated cardiac care, the professionalism was equal to the finest hospitals in New York. However, it was the empathy, courtesy and attendant care, which far distinguishes your institution from those in New York or Boston.”
His journey of two hospitals began in New York, just prior to the Christmas holidays, when he was bitten by a dog. He went to an urgent care center for evaluation and was sent to the emergency center at a New York hospital for treatment. He spent the night on a stretcher with his back to the wall in the hallway in the emergency center with an IV of antibiotics before he was admitted for further treatment.
Back To The Hospital
Lukas was on the road to recovery, but a few days later, he developed symptoms that required another emergency center visit for evaluation. By this time, he and his wife, Fran had traveled to the Cape to celebrate Christmas with their family.
“We were sitting by the fire after everyone had left to go home and Ed commented he was short of breath,” said Fran. “Because he had quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2008, we are always on high alert.”
She immediately drove him to the Cape Cod Hospital Emergency Center (EC) in Hyannis.
With his experience of laying on a stretcher in the hallway in the emergency center in New York still fresh on his mind, he was pleasantly surprised to get a private room in the Cape Cod Hospital EC immediately upon his arrival.
“We weren’t sitting out in the hallway,” said Lukas.
Oliver Berrett, MD, an emergency room physician and Carl Stajduhar, MD, a cardiology hospitalist, assessed him, started him on treatment for his symptoms and ordered a battery of tests.
“That experience was excellent,” said Lukas. “And the emergency room nurse, Tama Baker, was comforting, very thorough and efficient.”
Ultimately, he needed an angiogram that would be done by Alanna Coolong, MD, an interventional cardiologist, to check the blood flow in his heart and make sure there were no blockages in his arteries.
“She did a fantastic job,” he said. “And the nurses made me feel comfortable, especially Barbara with her sharp sense of humor.”
For follow-up, Lukas spent two days in the cardiac care unit before being discharged home.
“The communication between the staff was very good,” he said. “They always knew what was happening and they were very thorough. In New York, we had to start over explaining things with every shift change and each day I had a new nurse.”
He is grateful to the nurses and doctors of Cape Cod Hospital, especially those who were with him in the emergency room, during his angiogram and in recovery.
He also appreciates the non-medical personnel who helped him along the way.
“All the volunteers were so cheerful and there was always someone asking if we needed assistance, no matter where we went in the hospital.”
On his list of kudos is the hospitality he experienced, including the option to order his own meal from a menu.
“The young lady I spoke with could have been working in the best Swiss hotel,” Lukas said. “She had such a charming voice and was so helpful with my choices.”
His life today has returned to normal, he is fully recovered and back to consulting and doing a recap of weekly Wall Street activity on The Cape Cod Real Estate Show which airs Saturday mornings on WXTK.
“This time I was grateful I was here and not in New York when I became ill,” he said. “Cape Cod Hospital is a jewel resource in a jewel region of our country.”