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Program Lets Patients Donate on Behalf of Physicians Staff

Circle of Friends to host Oct. 30 presentation by author

By Leo A. Gordon, M.D.

As one strolls the halls of our great medical center, one's eyes are often drawn to a variety of lapel pins. These pins are worn by our physicians, nurses, administrators and other hospital employees.

Many of these pins increase awareness of diseases, social movements or other areas of interest.

One pin, however, has attracted quite a bit of attention over the past month. That pin - a simple blue circle labeled "Circle of Friends" - recognizes donations that have been made on behalf of the staff member who wears the pin. The Circle of Friends Program allows any patient the opportunity to honor any Cedars-Sinai physician or employee.

There is neither a minimum nor a maximum donation. Each recipient gets the pin with a personalized thank you note sent to the donor.

A special event is being held to launch the Circle of Friends Program. This event - the first ever Grand Rounds sponsored by Community Relations and Development - will take place at noon on Friday, Oct. 30, in Harvey Morse Auditorium.

The speaker at this event, Julie Salamon, is an investigative reporter who spent a year studying a Jewish hospital in the midst of financial and cultural change within the framework of increasingly restrictive government funding, establishment of clinical-care programs and a push to recruit new staff.

Sound like any hospital you know?*

Salamon's book - Hospital - is available in the gift shop. She is an engaging speaker who has also written on the role of philanthropy in the development of medical institutions. She will kick off the Circle of Friends program with an analysis of her experiences after having had full access to a major medical center for a year.

The entire medical staff is invited to this Circle of Friends inaugural event.

Quotes from a few of the honored caregivers:
- "In all my years at Cedars, I have never been so moved or honored."
- "It's gratifying to know that Cedars-Sinai Medical Center realizes the power and goodwill of the individual contribution."
- "This will undoubtedly be the most sought-after lapel pin in the medical center. This one means something."

For more information about the Circle of Friends Program Grand Rounds, please call Erin Hernandez at (323) 866-6295; and for more information about the Circle of Friends program, visit www.csmc.edu/15211.html.

* Editor's note: The hospital was New York's Maimonides Medical Center.