Building bonds: Michigan Medicine employees join thousands to help revitalize Detroit

November 13, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Earlier this year, the Office of Patient Experience’s Patient Family Engagement (PFE) team and staff from the Quality Department spent a couple of days in service to the community and building lasting bonds with their teammates.

The two teams participated in Life Remodeled, a six-day project mobilizing more than 10,000 volunteers to revitalize Detroit neighborhoods. The teams spent hours clearing blighted alleyways which included removing overgrown trees and weeds and hauling hundreds of pounds of dumped trash.

“For me, the best part of the day was seeing how quickly our team from the Quality Department pulled together and went to work to revitalize the alley they assigned to us,” said Paul Paliani, administrative manager for Clinical Design & Innovation. “At the start it seemed like it was going to be impossible to remove all of the overgrowth and debris, but the team just jumped in and started working and I realized pretty quickly that we were making progress and I knew we would be able to finish the job. It was really cool to see what we accomplished in just a few hours.”

A resident who lived in an adjoining house commented that she was grateful for the volunteers because when she last lost power, the electricity company could not reach her house due to the inaccessible alleyway.

“This was a great opportunity to get out of the office, away from computers and meetings and literally get our hands dirty,” said Julie Wietzke, OPE manager. “Our team had very satisfied smiles on our faces at the end of our day, especially seeing the tremendous progress and impact we were making.”

Life Remodeled will be holding another volunteer opportunity next year from Aug. 3-8. Check out this video to learn more.

Tell us how you serve the community

In addition to the teams from OPE and Quality, others across the organization made an impact in the community this year. For instance, groups of nursing leaders visited the Food Gatherers warehouse in Ann Arbor, while physician assistants volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Ypsilanti.

Did you or your team do a volunteer/service project this year? Or do you have plans to do one over the holiday season?

Tell us about it and include photos when possible!

Your stories and photos could be featured in an upcoming Headlines story, on The Wrap podcast or on the Employees at Michigan Medicine Facebook Page!