Bob Holbrook

Caring Makes the Difference

Circle of Caring donor recognizes and supports those who provide exceptional careBobHolbrook

As a patient at Asante Ashland Community Hospital, Bob Holbrook, a retired economics professor who taught at the University of Michigan before moving to Ashland, could feel the difference.

Whether he’s there for scheduled surgery or a medical emergency, the inherent stress has melted away in the face of the compassion and professionalism of those treating him. “It’s truly a positive experience to go to the hospital with a problem and get it fixed,” Bob says.

And the most extraordinary part, he says, is the way the caregiving team has connected with him as an individual. “Each person isn’t just doing a job,” Bob says. “They are building a relationship.”

In honor and appreciation of that relationship, Bob is making a difference, too. He’s sent thank-you donations that were directed to the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation’s Circle of Caring program. Donors to the program show gratitude to a caregiver, team or department and help the community hospital continue its mission of caring.

Bob first was admitted to the hospital for back surgery in May 2014. He spent three days recovering in the medical-surgical unit before moving on to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center for further recuperation.

“I was so pleased with my treatment in the surgery unit that I sent a donation and a letter of thanks to those who had cared for me,” he says, noting that his surgeon Dr. Glen O’Sullivan, the nurses, aides and physical therapists were all outstanding.

A year later, he went to the emergency room when he experienced atrial fibrillation, a rapid heartbeat that left him fatigued. He was whisked to a room and underwent a battery of tests, but still had time to order and enjoy lunch while awaiting one test. He was set to undergo an intervention that would stop his heart, then shock it back into normal rhythm, but his heart spontaneously slipped back into rhythm as doctors prepared him for the procedure. After a bit of monitoring to ensure everything was in order, he was sent home.

“It was a pleasant couple of hours,” Bob says, adding that he got prompt attention and a delicious lunch.

Again he sent a donation of thanks.

His third gift of gratitude came after he tripped and fell on Siskiyou Boulevard in October 2015, fracturing his hip. X-rays showed the break was just a crack that wouldn’t require surgery, and Bob was able to recuperate at his Ashland home using a walker.

When Bob first reached out with a gift to thank those who treated him at Asante Ashland, he didn’t even know about the Circle of Caring. He just wanted to thank everyone, — receptionists, aides, technicians, therapists, nurses and doctors — who had provided an exceptional level of care.

“They dealt with whatever I needed and cared for me as an individual, helping me achieve my goals, whether that was recovering from surgery or from an accident,” he says.

Patients often notice a “layer of compassion” that makes Asante Ashland Community Hospital a place like no other for getting through a crisis and staying on a path to wellness, Director of Nursing Michelle Hollenback says.

“There’s so much pride our staff takes in nurturing patients through their healing journeys,” she says.

While the nursing staff has the skills and compassion to create a “high touch” medical atmosphere, donors help keep the hospital high tech, providing funds to add the latest medical technology.

“I’m just so in awe of how the community helps this hospital,” Michelle says.

Knowing he can receive excellent medical care near his home is one more thing Bob loves about his retirement in Ashland, and he plans to continue supporting the community hospital.

“I thought ‘I’ll just help a little bit,’ and I will do it again,” he says of donating.

Make a difference: You can recognize a special caregiver with a tax-deductible contribution that will support the hospital’s work. Donate online or call (541) 201-4015.