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News | Feb. 22, 2024

Walter Reed: Showing Patients Appreciation in February and Beyond

By James Black, WRNMMC, Office of Command Communications

A Promise to Serve Others with Dignity and Empathy

Whether celebrating the first birth in a new year with proud parents or providing comfort and care to the last remaining service members from World War II, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center strives each day to show appreciation to our nation’s heroes and their families.

Walter Reed, often called “The Flagship of Military Medicine,” proudly joins the Defense Health Agency community in observing Patient Appreciation Month, encouraging hospital stakeholders to better connect with patients and their loved ones.

“Here at Walter Reed, we put our patients and their families at the center of everything we do. Whether it’s expanding into our new health center building or making other improvements across the facility, we do it all with the goal of making access to care easier for our deserving patients,” shared Brigid Herrick, the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at Walter Reed.

Walter Reed: The President’s Hospital

Herrick joined Walter Reed in 2022 after working in the private sector, where she designed and implemented improvement initiatives at a primary health care system in the National Capital Region. She brings a wealth of knowledge and talent to “The President’s Hospital” by incorporating industry best practices to improve the patient experience.

The mother of five hails from upstate New York and became interested in health care at an early age. Years ago, she assisted a friend in navigating a serious and life-changing diagnosis that required multiple surgeries. It sparked her interest in becoming a patient advocate, helping those in need during daunting times.

Herrick acquired a Master of Public Health at George Washington University and a Master of Science in Health Care Ethics at Creighton University. She was part of the first cohort to receive the Certified Patient Experience Professional (CPXP) designation. She also co-authored a book for parents to help them plan for a satisfying birth experience.

Improving Patient Service: A Daily Commitment and an Enduring Promise

“Our patients and families tell us how we are doing every day. My job is to create an interface between patients, staff, and hospital leadership,” explained Herrick, who understands that when health care teams feel valued and supported, it positively impacts the patient experience.

The CXO encourages staff to reach out to her to share suggestions. She is also eager to visit departments and clinic areas to learn how she can best support the organization.

“My passion for working at Walter Reed is born out of the desire to serve our nation’s heroes and their families. This is the ‘Flagship of Military Medicine,’ where health care, education, and research combine to benefit our patients and families. This creates both an obligation and opportunity to make a difference in the lives of thousands of patients.”
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