Dr. Dann Ganzhorn Retiring

Dann-Ganzhorn.jpgSince age five I wanted to become a “Doctor like Grandpa,” my maternal grandfather who practiced general medicine in Parma, Ohio at Deaconess Hospital. I stayed the course thru college at Case Western Reserve University then to Medical School at Wright State University in the Dayton area including my Family Practice Residency training. I then relocated to Texas where I was training Family Practice Residents at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown, Texas, for thirteen years. Around 1995 I was asked to become the first medical director for the new affiliated Hospice program. This is where I fell in love with Hospice providing medical care for the dying patient and their family utilizing a team approach looking at the patient not only from their medical and physical needs but also addressing their family, spiritual, and psychosocial needs

Upon relocating back to northeast Ohio and Twinsburg, where I grew up, I started working for the Meridia System in Chagrin Falls at the urgent care and started a private practice in family medicine. Meridia was subsequently rolled into The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF). I wanted to give back to my hometown in Twinsburg by becoming a physician at Grande Village Retirement Community in Twinsburg. After referring patients to the CCF Hospice then receiving no feedback from any team members I asked for and received permission to refer patients to Hospice of the Western Reserve and so began my journey with Hospice of the Western Reserve.

In early January 2002, I received a call from Dr. Chuck Wellman, medical director, about joining Hospice of the Western Reserve as a full-time physician. The team members I interacted with at Grande Village referred me to Dr. Chuck. After two interviews with him and David Simpson and thoughtful consideration I started work and orientation on Monday April 22, 2002. Orientation was 2-3 months and I met most of the staff working for the Agency as was the norm at that time. My journey continued by initially working at Hospice House, our only IPU, with Dr. Chuck and Dr. Kate Thomas, the only other physicians at the time. After learning our culture, I was tasked with starting “The Road Show.”  This include seeing patients in all settings as well as attending various team meetings from Mentor on the east side to Lorain on the west side and teams in between to provide physician input. Within six months it became apparent this model was a huge success and the Agency needed to hire more physicians for the outpatient setting.  Our census in 2002 was about 450 and gradually rising.

After 5-6 years providing care in the outpatient setting and community I returned to Hospice House, now known as David Simpson Hospice House, to cover east and north wings. After about nine years in the IPU setting I elected to return to the field covering the east side teams of Ashtabula, who had joined us, and Mentor.

In the last three or so years I have gradually cut back my work hours first to ¾ time than to ½ time the last 2 years to start pursuing other endeavors as well as start my transition to retirement. My love for doing Hospice work has not faded and I still enjoy the work although it has changed in the last 20+ years. My motto remains “take care of the patient and family first” then figure out the rest.

I continue to do the best I can for all patients and families and be available and teach for the teams I am honored to be affiliated with. I continue to try to be the best team member I can on a multi-disciplinary team. Many patients and staff I have come across in my Hospice journey will always be remembered as they have all helped me grow in my walk. I remain proud to be a small part of our Agency and the work everyone does to provide the best care to all the patients and families we serve. I will always be grateful for what I have learned and become at Hospice of the Western Reserve and wish everyone the best as we all move forward. I do plan to take a couple of months off then return to work PRN and look forward to continuing my journey with y’all.

Most Sincerely and with a grateful heart,

Dann Ganzhorn

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