When I was first asked to write a blog commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Pavilion for Women opening, I immediately agreed. I enjoy writing, and I thought the occasion merited a tribute. But as the day drew closer, I found I hadn’t put even the first word to paper. That’s unusual for me. Most often when I am asked to write a blog, I am struck by an idea and have it on paper within an hour. Little editing is required; the words just flow and sound “right” to my ear. But this time it’s different. I started and stopped half a dozen times, never able to adequately capture my feelings on paper. So days passed, and I told myself not to worry—I would figure something out. Then I realized the problem: this wasn’t about my opinions. I wasn’t discussing the latest medical recommendations for pregnant women. This was about my feelings. That’s a much harder thing to share with your coworkers, colleagues and friends. My past five years at the Pavilion for Women are deeply personal experiences.
All of a sudden, it’s March 26, 2017. Five years to the day of our “grand opening.” I still didn’t have a word on paper. I was on my way to check on a laboring patient when I stopped to take in this view:
It’s the exact same view I had on March 26, 2012. That day, like today, I was on call at the Pavilion for Women. The excitement was palpable. We had already celebrated a lot of firsts that day, and now I was going to be one of the first to spend 24 hours on labor and delivery. The novelty of spending the night in the hospital has faded, but my feeling of pride in what we have built has not.
As I stand in this spot five years later, I finally know what I want to say. Tonight, there will be no fanfare, no stunning blue light emanating from the miracle bridge. Tonight, it’s business as usual, and that is a good thing. Actually, it’s a great thing.
As happy as we are that we have reached this important milestone, what matters most are the women we are caring for at this moment, five years after we opened our doors.
I, like you, have heard all the statistics. The Pavilion has over 1.3 million square feet dedicated to the care of women and their families. Since we opened, we have delivered over 27,000 babies, including 902 sets of multiples. But those are just numbers; they don’t express the heart and soul of the Pavilion for Women. Our vibrant spirit is created by the people who walk our halls each and every day. It’s not the brick and mortar that makes this place special. It’s the people. Tonight as I head off to another delivery, I know how lucky I am to spend the evening celebrating another birthday at a beautiful hospital full of remarkable people. I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring.