spacer home-table of contents from the ceo cover story featured story research news and events focus on philanthropy from the vp spacer
spacer spacer spacer

‘A Good Head and a Good Heart Are Always a Formidable Combination’
vice presidentIn December, as the world mourned the death of Nelson Mandela, I read several speeches that the great leader from South Africa had given during his life. We had just celebrated the opening of our new Comprehensive Cancer Center, and one of his remarks made me think of our cancer program:

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

There’s no doubt that we have some of the best and the brightest working in our Cancer Center. That fact has been verified by surveys, rankings and certifications for years.

But what makes our cancer program distinctive is how knowledge and skill are directed by great compassion. I know many of the wonderful people who work in our cancer program, and I would not hesitate one minute in choosing them as my care team should cancer become a challenge in my life.

I also know many of our patients and have heard their stories about the compassionate care they received at Wake Forest Baptist:

  • “Above and beyond the call of duty.”
  • “Taking extra time with my family.”
  • “A smile and a hug when I really needed it.”

During the tours and events held to mark the Cancer Center’s opening, it wasn’t necessarily the comments that made an impression on me, though. There was a range of people who came out to tour the expanded facility—cancer survivors, families of former patients, and donors who had lost loved ones to the disease, along with physicians, nurses and others who help care for patients.

The gathering reflected a reverence and a subdued joy. It was an emotionally meaningful experience to be in this space that, to them, seemed to feel almost sacred. It reinforced what we all knew: It’s a wonderful building, but without people to make the difference, it’s only a wonderful building.

A new state-of-the-art cancer hospital is a wonderful thing. But we’ve done more than expand a building. We have matched a “good head” with “good heart” to achieve something truly remarkable.


Norman Potter
Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center


© 2014 Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center | Office of Development and Alumni Affairs | P.O. Box 571021 | Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1021 | All Rights Reserved.

home archive