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Joseph Tennyson, MD, Stroke Medical Director, UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital

As a department chief, I work very hard to eliminate silos — the “us vs. them” way of thinking. I try to focus on making the best decisions for our patients by creating a more cohesive hospital. The most important thing for everyone in the organization to remember is that we’re all here to serve the patient. Working together as a team with that common goal in mind needs to be our focus.

At a recent systemwide meeting, we had a speaker who spoke about her research into civility. She found that patient outcomes declined sharply when there was a lack of civility. The Standards of Respect foster civility. If we adhere to them, over time they will become second nature and we’ll be more open to others and what they have to say. We need to hear each other because the person who gets caught in the middle when we don’t is the patient.

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