Purple Unit settles into new home at Saint Luke’s

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School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., and Saint Luke’s Hospital CEO Jani Johnson shared in the ribbon-cutting for the new medical education unit and Purple Unit docent offices at Saint Luke’s Hospital with Diana Dark, M.D., (far left) associate dean for medical education and director of medical education at Saint Luke’s, and Julie Quirin, (far right) senior vice president of hospital operations.

Students on the Purple docent unit at Saint Luke’s Hospital have a new place to call home.

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., and Saint Luke’s Hospital CEO Jani Johnson, RN, MSN, shared the honor of the official ribbon cutting on Monday, Sept. 12, on the hospital’s renovated fifth-floor medical education department, the new location of the Eleanor N. and Mary N. Little Purple Docent Unit. The Littles are sisters who, through their estate, made a charitable gift to the Saint Luke’s Foundation in support of medical education and patient care at Saint Luke’s.

In his remarks, Kanter said the docent program is a living symbol of the close relationship between Saint Luke’s Hospital and the School of Medicine.

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Purple Unit docents with Dean Kanter are Doug Cochran, M.D., Jamie Lawless, M.D, Richard Lustig, D.O., and Slawomir Walewicz, M.D.

“This wonderful new unit, the Eleanor N. and Mary N. Little Purple Docent Unit, which is the home for purple docent teams, is clear testimony to what a wonderful partnership we have had,” he said.

The fifth floor of the hospital also houses the administrative offices for the medical education department, a health sciences library and house staff quarters for residents.

Docent offices for the Purple Unit were previously located in the hospital’s Medical Plaza building. Doug Cochran, M.D., docent for the Purple 2 team, said that moving the education offices to one site has been a convenience for students and docents.

“We have several options for conference rooms, immediate access to the library, unlimited access to the electronic resources in the library and multiple places for students to gather in small groups,” Cochran said.

This past spring, the School of Medicine added a fourth docent team to the Purple Unit. With the renovations at the hospital complete, two students now share each of the 24 offices in the new docent unit. The area also has a multifunctional media center that allows students to access patient lists, obtain evidence for rounds, and scan and send documents from the unit.

“The best and most valued asset for me, and for the students, is a private space where I can close the door and have some time for focused study,” Cochran said. “The new unit is well-designed, well-resourced, and extremely functional in our first DoRo experience.”

Kanter said the docent system is key to making the medical education program at the School of Medicine function properly, and that it is critical for docent teams to have the right space in which to work and learn.

“I want to extend my thanks to the Saint Luke’s Health System, to Saint Luke’s Hospital, the Saint Luke’s Foundation, and, of course, to all of you who have so generously supported Saint Luke’s and the School of Medicine in our shared mission of educating the next generation of physicians,” Kanter said.