Patient Experience Moments: “I Haven’t Forgotten You”
Photo from left: Roger Jobin, Dan Wright, Tyler Jobin, Annie Jobin, Angie Jobin and Tiffany Jobin
During the early afternoon of September 12, Roger Jobin, his sister-in-law and five of his 13 children were anxiously awaiting word about Roger’s wife Terry, who was undergoing breast cancer surgery with Kari M. Rosenkranz, MD, the medical director of the Comprehensive Breast Program at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center. They had just finished eating lunch at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) when suddenly they, and everyone around them, were told to immediately evacuate the hospital because of a Code Silver alert (which indicates there is an active shooter).
“We were nervous enough as it was with her being in the operating room, and then I was even more of a nervous wreck when they said we had to leave,” says Jobin, who lives in Guilford, Vermont. “We didn’t know what was happening.”
They were escorted to a parking lot and then to an area down by the main road, Hitchcock Loop Road. Within 25 minutes, DHMC staff and first responders brought water out to everyone and D-H Chief Nursing Officer Karen Clements RN, BSN, MSB, FACHE, came out to talk to the group. “I thought it was pretty amazing that they got water out to everybody that quickly. Then Karen came down and told us there was an incident inside and that she’d let us know when they had more information,” Jobin says.
Jobin asked Clements if she could provide him with news about his wife in the Operating Room (OR). She assured him that his wife was safe, and said she would try to get him some information. About 45 minutes later, Clements returned to check on the group and told Jobin that unfortunately she didn’t have any news about his wife yet, but added, “I haven’t forgotten you.”
“It would have been pretty hard to forget us because we were all wearing black T-shirts with a big pink ribbon in the middle that said, ‘In this family no one fights alone.’ So, we were pretty unforgettable!” Jobin says.
When DHMC reopened around 5:15 pm, Clements ensured that Jobin was near the front of the line so that he could quickly get back inside. When he saw Rosenkranz, he learned that his wife was doing well and that she had been on lockdown in the OR with Rosenkranz and the surgical team. “Dr. Rosenkranz said they stayed in the OR for about an hour and a half after they finished the procedure,” Jobin says. “When my wife heard what had happened, she couldn’t believe it. She said, ‘And they let me stay in there?!’ Dr. Rosenkranz told her, ‘Don’t worry we took good care of you.’
“Dr. Rosenkranz is awesome,” says Jobins.
“When we emerged from the lockdown and I was able to speak with the Jobins, I was incredibly heartened by how cared for they felt despite the chaos and anxiety of the day,” Rosenkranz says. “I felt so genuinely proud to work at DHMC.”
Jobin says he was impressed by the care his wife received, as well as the treatment his family, other patient families, patients and visitors received during the Code Silver incident.
“Everything was handled exceptionally well,” he says. “So many people kept checking on us when we were outside, and somebody from the chaplain’s office came down and talked to all of us. Then on Wednesday, a reverend from the chaplain’s office [DHMC Staff Chaplain Rev. Kris Bowen, MDiv, BCC] stopped by my wife’s room, and so did Karen [Clements]. She said, ‘I just had to come and meet you after meeting your family yesterday.’ In light of the severity of the situation, I think everything was handled really well and my wife got great care,” Jobin says.