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Tooting Our Horn

Over the past week, several WakeMed specialties and providers have been praised for being the best. 

First and foremost, WakeMed was recognized for having a strong record of high performance by U.S. News & World Report for most conditions and procedures in nine different specialties.  These specialties include gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, heart & heart surgery, kidney disorders, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, rehabilitation and urology. 

WakeMed is also pleased to have three of its own honored by the Triangle Business Journal as being Healthcare Heroes.  Here are a few excerpts from their nominations, so you too can see why we are so proud to have them on our team.

Dr. Graham Snyder, Emergency Department Physician & Medical Director WakeMed Center for Innovative Learning, Rising Star

Not long began working in WakeMed Emergency Departments in 2002, Dr. Graham Snyder approached WakeMed CEO Dr. Bill Atkinson about getting a human simulator to help train his 30 residents.

“You can,” Snyder recalls Atkinson telling him, “as long as you also train the doctors, the nurses, the EMTs … .” Instead of getting just one human simulator, Snyder found himself creating a virtual university, the Center for Innovative Learning, which today occupies 3,800 square feet on WakeMed’s Raleigh Campus. Last year the Center trained more than 4,900 medical personnel from 30 states.

The Center plays a key role letting medical professionals get hands-on experience minus the life-and-death consequences. That’s especially important for fledgling residents with little hands-on experience, especially with tricky procedures such as intubation.

The Center has a fully equipped emergency room with four “patients.” The set-up resembles the real thing, with one exception: Behind a windowed wall in one corner is a control room where Snyder controls the patients’ symptoms and reactions via computer. Video cameras placed strategically throughout the room capture the action. Afterward, Snyder, a facilitator who is in the ER, and the students review the session —they typically last 20 minutes — in an adjoining classroom.

Lil Galphin, Interim Director of WakeMed’s Spritual Care – Community Outreach

It is a very special role the spiritual caregiver provides in the health care setting.  While the majority of patients and their families count their blessings as WakeMed physicians and staff ease their pain and send them on the road to recovery, others must cope with loss of life, loss of independence and other hardships.  Hospital spiritual caregivers like Lil Galphin give families and patients the tools to begin to cope with often life-changing hardships.

Galphin’s life’s work has been dedicated to patients and families healing from crisis and/or loss.  She first came to WakeMed Health & Hospitals as part of a grant program in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) in 1977 and has been with the system ever since.  The WakeMed ICN, now a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), is where neonatal physician and nurse specialists care for premature and critically ill infants.  Level IV is the highest designation a NICU facility and staff can achieve.  Therefore, the area’s sickest and tiniest babies as well as their families are often cared for at WakeMed.  

Galphin works with the families of our tiniest patients, helping them cope with the minute-to-minute stresses of being a parent of a premature newborn.  Given the exceptional care and technology that is available to these babies, many of them thrive and go on to lead vibrant lives. Unfortunately some premature infants are too sick and do not survive. Galphin’s work with these parents and the NICU staff led her to help fulfill a very important community need. She helped form Parentcare Inc., a group established for the care and support of parents whose infant (from conception to age 1) has died.  Galphin’s role in Parentcare has been vital.  She is one of the authors of the Parentcare educational booklet, which serves as a resource for parents seeking the organization’s services. That completed, Galphin, in addition to her full-time duties with WakeMed, took over as facilitator of the Parentcare support group in 1978.  She has been the group’s loyal facilitator and coordinator ever since. 

Dr.  Patrick O’Brien, Medical Director WakeMed Rehab, Physician Carolina Back Institute – Physician/Physician Group

Dr. O’Brien is an extraordinary physician who not only treats patients who have had catastrophic, unplanned, sudden spinal cord and brain injuries but he also manages the business aspect of taking care of these patients with life-long care needs.

He is instrumentally involved in the day to day operations and administration at WakeMed Rehabilitation that is invested in the care of patients with disabilities.

Dr. O’Brien cares for patients with stroke, spinal cord and brain injuries at the most challenging time in their lives and continues to follow and encourage these patients throughout their life.  He understands what it is like to age with a disability and the health issues that go along with these disabilities.  He looks at the patient realizing what their life-long needs will be.

 There is no doubt, Dr. O’Brien would walk through fire to help one of his patients or team members whether that is in a clinic, rehab facility, or in the boardroom.


One thought to “Tooting Our Horn”

  1. I hear you loud and clear and it’s great you are tooting your horn too. Commendable work is going on at WakeMed.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful news about WakeMed Health and Hospitals in WakeMed Voices.

    Great Work!


    George T. Riley
    WakeMed Applicant &
    WakeMed Voices Subscriber

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