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Hanley (Doc) Harding

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A Thank You to the Veterans Administration
by Hanley (Doc) Harding   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, December 29, 2006
Posted: Friday, December 29, 2006

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I was treated like a Five Star Admiral... really.

This past year, I was an in-patient at the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). I had a serious kidney infection and  kidney stones, a painful experience which I had previusly undergone as a teenager, and which had kept me out of nuclear submarine service (but I ended up underwater, anyway!).

This "article" is actually a "Thank You" and a tribute to all the fine people who make the Miami VAMC what is is... on a par with any (yes, I said any) hospital in our nation.

I drove myself to the Emergency Room on a Saturday night and, from the time I entered, I knew I was in the care of the very best. I do not say this lightly, as I have been wounded and through cancer and in a serious motorcycle crash... just three of my many medical travails in life. I have been through a lot of medical treatment.

After preliminary testing and diagnosis, I was transferred to my room in Section 12-AB.  That's where the treatment began. I spent seven days there, in the hands of consummate professionals. From the "old hand" staff medical personnel, to the young doctors graduating the University of Miami Medical School, and doing their required residency, everyone was not only introspective and analytical, but showed a high degree of caring, the importance of which cannot be overstated, given the state of our modern American society, where too many people are treated like disposable cigarette lighters.

I didn't have to wait longer than ten seconds from the time I pressed the Nurse Call button, to hear a voice, asking me what I needed. Then the personal response came very quickly after that. From the housekeeping crew to the medical technicians to the nursing staff, everyone had a smile on their face, a can-do attitude, and showed genuine concern for my comfort and treatment. Professionals, every last one. I felt like a 5 Star Admiral.

I will end this by saying that many medical establishments across this nation could do well to send observers to the Miami VAMC to see what professional and compassionate medical care is really all about. And that includes major hospitals across my south Florida community. They would learn a lot. I imagine that learning experience would embarrass many of them, as they realize some deplorable shortcomings of their own health care systems (my late mother having fallen victim to the incompetent care of one of those major hospitals, in Miami Beach, from which I had to surreptitiously obtain her records, which proved their medical culpability).

And so, Miami VAMC, this veteran not only salutes you, but will continue to spread the word that somewhere -- specifically, at your facility -- medical professionalism and real compassion is an ongoing daily way of doing things, not just empty words.
Thank you...!!!

Hanley Harding
December, 2006


Reader Reviews for "A Thank You to the Veterans Administration"

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Reviewed by Rosemarie Skaine 12/31/2006
Very nice tribute. Happy New Year, Doc. R
Reviewed by Harold Hester 12/31/2006
Well Hanley, congratulation on hitting one of 172 VA hospitals on a good week. Your experiences from being wounded (I assume in combat), your motorcycle accident and your cancer rival mine (except the motorcycle) but I have yet had any good experiences with the VA. I am truly glad and happy a veteran is happy. I hope you have the same experiences if/when you try for C&P from the VA. If you have or even thinking about C&P you may want to take a few minutes to read my article at (or look under authors here in authorsden - for harold hester)look under the short story page then click on “We own our Veterans”. How did you not serve in subs but did so underwater? You a Seal or Hardhat? Army here. Again… glad you had a good experience and I assume the kidneys are now fine. Harold
Reviewed by L. Craft - Hisayasu 12/30/2006
There are so many complaints, that it is wonderful to hear a person express the true sense of gratitude... Stay healthy Doc...
Reviewed by Frances Lynn 12/29/2006
Aaaaaah! Extremely heartwarming, Doc. I hope those saints at VAMC patched you up okay.

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