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Letters from home: Patients respond to Doctors' Day celebration

Letters from home: Patients respond to Doctors' Day celebration

In a special nod to National Doctors’ Day, March 30, more than 400 handwritten thank-you notes from patients all across Upstate New York will be delivered to physicians at Upstate University Hospital.

Upstate contacted patients to see if they wanted to help recognize a favorite physician on National Doctors’ Day, and if so, to write a special message that could be shared with the physician. Most messages provide a poignant thank you for outstanding care, others tell of the kindness and compassion offered during one’s hospitalization.

“Letters from grateful patients are meaningful to all of us,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate, “so the opportunity to recognize our physicians on this special day with words of praise from patients is truly special.”

Pezzi said one common refrain in the letters was the acknowledgment from patients of the time a doctor spent listening and answering questions. “Patients were extremely grateful to those physicians who took the time be at their bedside,” she said.

The patient response reflects Upstate’s regional focus, with numerous letters coming from patients outside of the hospital’s 17-county service area.

On National Doctors’ Day, Upstate physicians will receive the letters from their grateful patients and a framed certificate acknowledging their patient tributes. Upstate officials plan to continue the program next year and will hold a physician reception as part of the National Doctors’ Day Celebration.

Caption: Eileen Pezzi and Michele Estabrook of the Foundation for Upstate Medical University look over some of the more than 400 thank-you notes sent by patients in celebration of National Doctors’ Day.