"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Holidays Part II

On Friday, I blogged about the start of the holidays and getting into the holiday spirit.  The ability to enhance that spirit came on Friday evening with the Health System's holiday party for board members, physicians and upper-end donors to our Foundation.  What a party!  The Food Service staff once again outdid themselves as has been the case year after year.  The party gets better each year and attendance grows year after year.  All of the food is prepared on site by an extremely talented group of employees.  I love when I am asked the question, "Who does the catering for this wonderful party?  I have to get their name."  Guests can't believe that such an event can be delivered by the "kitchen staff."  Let me tell you, it is the holiday party of the season and one that everyone wants to be invited to.  An invite is easy,  just contribute at the $10,000 level or higher, become a physician or be invited to serve in some governance related capacity at WMHS.  Although I thanked our Dietary staff throughout the evening and after the event was over, I can't recognize them enough for the outstanding effort in delivering the party of the holiday season.  Great job, everyone!


  1. I am not one to ever say that a Holiday Party is inappropriate, but when having it at the hospital,I do feel it is inappropriate to have alcoholic beverages in such blatant display. A hospital that promotes serving of alcohol and prohibits tobacco products on it's campus is in a word, hypocritical. I also feel that if such funds can be spent on revelry, that a matching amount should be spent on procuring equipment to provide patient care. I am disappointed and dismayed that such an emphasis is placed on a party and not on providing much needed equipment updates and patient care items.

  2. I certainly appreciate your perspective, but it is important for us to have a way to thank our uncompensated board members, our generous donors, and our medical staff and their spouses who give so much to our patients and our community. This holiday party is one way that we can show our appreciation.
    We have been criticized in the past for having this event outside the hospital. We now choose to have the party here because we have such a wonderful facility and our catering staff does an outstanding job. In addition, the cost of providing this holiday event here is much less than if we held it at an outside venue. The amount we spend is on this event is significantly less than what we do for our patients and our staff during the holiday season.
    These events in no way affect our ability to provide quality care, invest in new equipment, and provide training and support for our staff. It also does not hamper our ability to provide benefit to our community. In the fiscal year that just ended, we documented over $34 million in community benefit. We believe it is only fitting to express our appreciation to the many people who make this type of contribution to our community.