Sammons Cancer Center Gets Social

Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center has a striking façade. Rising ten stories above the medical campus below, the 460,000 square foot facility with its distinctive curved glass curtain wall stands as a fitting testament to the innovative medical research and care provided inside. The building’s construction and daily operations also represent groundbreaking advancements in sustainability and environmental awareness.

It’s a facility that has garnered numerous environmental awards and accolades, including a prestigious LEED Gold certification. With an ENERGY STAR certification and designation as an IREM Certified Sustainable Property (CSP), the building sets a new standard for sustainability for a facility of its size and function.

Over 650 people, from world-renowned medical specialists to nurses and medical assistants to administrative and facility management staff, report to Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center for work each day, and they all share one common goal: to create an environment centered on wellness, support, and education for patients with cancer, family members, and visitors. While that means, first and foremost, providing excellent health care, it also means cultivating the types of physical spaces, programming, and support services necessary to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of battling cancer.

Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center makes use of its stunning 10th-floor conference center to host over 50 events per week, ranging from patient and family support groups, to financial and social work resources, to healthy cooking classes, exercise and meditation programs, and music and art therapy sessions. The main lobby and second-floor common areas are also routinely used—without charge—for community and patient events.

Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center also collects yarn—lots of it—as part of an innovative service project to bring warmth and comfort to the facility’s patients. Each winter, on behalf of the property’s owners, Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE: DOC), the property management team collaborates with Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center staff and the nonprofit organization Passing Hats to collect yarn. Medical providers, patients, visitors, and vendors from throughout the facility collect yarn donations within their respective areas, and volunteers utilize the contributions to knit hats for patients battling cancer. The “hat tree” displaying these cheerful creations—free of charge—has become a permanent fixture in the building’s lobby, with additional hat baskets in many of the building’s offices and public spaces. Over 3,200 patients to date have been able to enjoy a free handmade hat courtesy of this collaborative yarn project.

“Collecting yarn from our health care workers, patients, and even some of the suppliers that provide services to the building has been a colorful way to support our patients during the holidays,” Susan Leinweaver, DOC Senior Property Manager, said. “Often the yarn is delivered with a story, like a visitor bringing yarn in memory of their mom who enjoyed knitting. Or it’s a contribution from a health care worker who knows first-hand how helpful it is for a warm hat to be available for their patients undergoing cancer treatment. We even had a patient bring in a bag so full of yarn that we had to drag it to the collection point together. Seeing our community rally around such a meaningful cause has been especially rewarding.”

The annual yarn collection, while a mainstay of Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center’s programming and a visible reminder of the facility’s genuine commitment to health and wellness, is just one thread in the larger tapestry of ongoing programming. The close relationship between DOC staff and the onsite property management team has led to many other innovative programming ideas and events to serve Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center’s patient base and broader Dallas community, including:

  • Through a collaboration with BOMA Greater Dallas, a toiletry and school supply drive to benefit numerous Dallas-area nonprofit organizations
  • A “Coffee with a Cop” event to strengthen the relationships between building staff, visitors, and local security personnel, creating a safer and healthier environment for all who utilize the facility
  • A GivingTuesday clothing drive to benefit a local women’s shelter
  • Annual therapeutic goat yoga sessions for Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center’s health care tenants
  • Lunch & Learns on a variety of health and wellness topics, including fire safety
  • A breast cancer awareness “Pink-Out” month celebration

“Across our portfolio, we strive to embody our ‘Invest in Better’ mission by prioritizing the health and wellness of all who come through the doors at our properties,” Mark Dukes, DOC Vice President of Asset Management, said. “We’re so proud of the innovative programming we’ve been able to create together at Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center alongside our health care providers. We look forward to continuing this rich partnership in the months and years to come on behalf of Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center’s staff, patients, and visitors.”

Earth Day: Water Smarter

This year, as usual, Earth Day fell on April 22, 2020, but observing the day was anything but business as usual. Celebrating Earth Day during the COVID-19 pandemic meant having to keep activities virtual and home-based. But did this slow down our team of talented and creative property managers? Not one bit! Our theme this year was “Water Smarter.” Here is a small sampling of DOC’s Earth Day activities across the portfolio.

Cami Miller and Lisa Shull of Bennett Williams Commercial, who manage DOC’s Harrisburg, PA portfolio shared, “We promoted the Water Footprint Calculator through a series of broadcast messages and social media posts. These messages included tips on water conservation and a link to the Water Footprint Calculator. If you haven’t tried the calculator before, it goes through a series of questions with a water graphic that rises or drops based on your input regarding your daily living habits and calculates your footprint and then provides tips for conservation in each category. It is interactive and informative and is a great resource for those looking for ways to conserve.”

Two groups created Earth Day newsletters. The first came from our Atlanta portfolio, managed by Lauren Whitlock, Von Terry, Nicole Felder, Kathie Coldmon, Nancy Ziegler, and Jaime Nance of Realty Trust Group. The team reported, “We decided to create one Earth Day Newsletter to distribute to all of our MOBS. With water conservation as this year’s focus, we incorporated statistics, its importance, benefits, a quiz, and residential and commercial sustainability tips. In addition to the newsletter, we offered a guessing game in the building lobbies, handouts, and candy grab bags for the tenants/patients.”

Scott Hedrick and Ben Chrystak, the team who manage our Nebraska portfolio, created a digital newsletter that included links to home-based activities to share with the family, useful resources, and daily helpful hint handouts focusing on different aspects of water conservation.

DOC’s Minnesota and North Dakota portfolios, managed by the Davis team of Alicia Davis, Melissa Gomes, Emily Gruenhagen, Peggy Schatz, Julie Helten, and Jerry Anderson, encouraged their tenants to “sign in for hope, encouragement, education” with their digital Earth Day diary. They shared their favorite sounds and sights related to water conservation with links to various water conservation-related TED talks, documentaries, and activities.

Barb Bennett and Sydney Friddle, DOC’s duo managing our Louisville/Lexington, KY portfolio, challenged their tenants to a competition to document and share their water conservation at-home efforts. Tenants were encouraged to get creative, involve their families, and send pictures showcasing the great things, big or small, they did in the community to help conserve water. Selected competition winners received water smarter-related prizes.

In addition to tenant-focused activities, our property management team was asked to conduct a visual inspection at each of their properties, looking for and noting leaky or outdated faucets and toilets, outdoor sprinkler systems, and other water-related equipment needing repair or replacement. After completion of the audits, property managers were asked to discuss their findings with their Regional Asset Managers to advise them what could be repaired or updated this year and what would need to be considered in future capital planning. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and safety considerations, the timeline for those inspections was extended.

We appreciate the many creative (and virtual) ways to “Water Smarter” and for keeping focused on what’s most important now and always – our tenants.

10,000 Thank You’s

Last winter, The Home Depot changed its slogan to “How Doers Get More Done.” Last month, when DOC launched an effort to solicit mask donations to support its health care partners in Dallas, Texas, nobody “got more done” than the generous team at The Home Depot.

The Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center is the largest outpatient cancer facility in North Texas, rising ten stories above the surrounding medical complex, spanning 450,000 square feet of medical office space, and visited by over 2,500 medical professionals and patients on a typical day. A facility that size has incredible supply needs during the best of times, and the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly presented a myriad of new challenges.

DOC’s regional property managers work hard to anticipate and address the needs of our tenants and to seek creative solutions. Our goal is always to provide best-in-class care so that our health care providers to focus on serving their patients, rather than building maintenance issues, supply chain logistics, and more.

To assist health care providers at the Baylor Cancer Center in securing needed masks for both patients and medical staff, DOC Sr. Property Manager Susan Leinweaver got to work immediately. She began installing signs throughout the facility encouraging the donation of masks, from the homemade variety for patients to manufactured surgical masks to N95 respirators for tenants. Susan also shared this need with service providers that support the BCC’s building operations. Courtesy of one of those providers, Yardi Marketplace, those signs found their way into the hands of The Home Depot’s National Account Manager, who responded in a big way.

As mask donations began to flow in, Susan and her team were overwhelmed by a generous delivery of a 3,500-pound pallet containing 10,000 masks, all courtesy of The Home Depot team. The masks are already being distributed throughout the facility, easing their burden during this challenging time.

Through an incredible team of property managers like Susan, DOC strives to go above and beyond in support of its health care partners. It’s inspiring to see community partners like The Home Depot answer that call as well.

PPE for Health Care Partners

Not all heroes wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Some just help procure and deliver it.

For medical providers across the country, maintaining adequate supplies of PPE has become an unexpected priority. For many, it’s also become an unexpected challenge. DOC’s regional property managers strive to always understand and address our partners’ needs, and when opportunities arise to ease a burden for a tenant, they are quick to lend a helping hand.

As the new realities of the current pandemic continued to set in for medical providers last month, DOC property managers for Ohio Amie Washburn and Angela Zarate learned that many of their tenants were struggling to purchase much-needed disposable and N95 masks. The two immediately got to work, identifying a local company, TKO Sales, that was transitioning its business to help address the mask shortage in the area.

Ultimately, DOC worked to purchase over 600 N95 masks to donate to local tenants in need, while also securing wholesale pricing for medical providers looking to purchase additional supplies. DOC partners at Orthopedic One in Columbus, OH, and at the Westerville Medical Office Building in Westerville, OH, have already taken advantage of the new mask pipeline.

Embodying “The DOC Difference,” Amie and Angela didn’t just open doors for their health care partners. They ensured the entire process—from purchasing through delivery—was seamless and efficient. Angela and her family even personally delivered many of the masks, along with homemade cards thanking all of the health care providers for the heroic service they are providing during these trying times.

At DOC, we take great pride in the relationships we’ve cultivated with our health care partners, and our staff is always encouraged to go above and beyond the call of duty to allow our partners to focus on what they do best: delivering world-class health care to the communities they serve. Sometimes even the smallest of acts, delivered with a personal touch, can prove heroic.

cureHUNTER Virtual Fundraiser

In any other year, our annual fundraiser supporting cureHUNTER’s mission to end pediatric cancer would have been held in April at the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International’s Medical Office Buildings and Healthcare Real Estate Conference. While the event has been postponed, our commitment to making a difference for cureHUNTER is still going strong.

In lieu of our typical in-person event, on Wednesday, April 29, DOC was proud to match all donations made to support this crucial cause. The outpouring of generosity, particularly during these challenging times, was truly inspiring. We’re thrilled to report that we collectively raised $25,071 to continue cureHUNTER’s fight against childhood cancer.

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much to all who gave and also the DOC team for their continued support and ingenuity in bringing this virtual fundraiser to life,” cureHUNTER Founders Jill and Ryan Doyle said. “During a time like this, when there are so many worthy causes in need of financial assistance, it means the world to us to have your support as we continue our fight against pediatric cancer.”

To learn more about cureHUNTER’s work, visit www.cure-hunter.org.


Pandemic Stories from the Field

“We’re all in this together” isn’t just a cliché to the DOC property managers on the ground working with our tenants in these unprecedented times.

Recently, our partners at CHI Saint Joseph Health in Lexington, KY, received a generous donation of alcohol-based sanitizer from Buffalo Trace Distillery but were struggling to secure the appropriate bottles to dispense it. We were able to work with our local janitorial supplier, Leonard Brush & Chemical Company, to obtain 300 spray bottles, which we were proud to donate. It’s just one small example of how DOC is always willing to lend a hand (or in this case, a few hundred spray bottles) to assist our partners on the front lines.

Kudos to our Senior Property Manager Barb Bennett and the team at Leonard Brush & Chemical Co for pulling this together!

A Heartfelt Thank You from DOC

There are heroes everywhere you look these days. The selfless determination of our frontline staff battling this pandemic is truly inspiring. It takes a village to provide care, particularly in times like these, and every single person affiliated with our properties is giving a piece of themselves to this effort. To our maintenance staff, our janitorial contractors, and everyone else making personal sacrifices to ensure the safety and health of our health care partners and their patients, thank you!

Guest House with the Bevara Team

Recently, alongside our friends at Bevara Building Services, Asset Management team members at Physicians Realty Trust prepared and served a meal to the residents at the Guest House of Milwaukee. This is the second time that our DOC employees have partnered with the Guest House, and it was another meaningful and fun evening for all involved.

To learn more about the Guest House’s mission to serve individuals who are homeless with dignity, click here.

Next Door Gift Drive

In this season of giving, the Physicians Realty Trust team conducted an annual gift drive in partnership with Next Door Milwaukee. This nonprofit promotes school readiness and success in life for young Milwaukee children and families through exceptional early childhood programming and whole-family support services. Each year, the organization serves over 1,400 children ages 0-5 who live in poverty.

This annual gift drive began in 2015 through the adoption of one classroom and 25 children. Today, it has grown into one of our most-anticipated service events. Now in our fifth year, Physicians Realty Trust is proud to adopt two Next Door classrooms with 50 children served as well as two families. In total, our team provides about 100 gifts annually to spread the holiday cheer in our community.

Martina Stevens, a Volunteer Coordinator for Next Door Milwaukee, shared, “Thanks to all our generous donors, we were able to provide a special holiday season to 84 Next Door families and more than 1,000 students. I look forward to the joy this process brings, not only to our children and families but to our donors as well.”

To learn more about Next Door’s early childhood education efforts, click here.

Evening with the Stars Event

In November 2019, DOC was a proud sponsor of CHI Saint Joseph Hospital’s 31st Annual Evening with the Stars in Lexington, Kentucky. Health care professionals received awards for excellence in leadership, innovation, and service. Over $136,000 was raised for the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation’s emergency department renovation project. We are honored to support our health care partners’ efforts in this market as they invest in outstanding patient care facilities and services, the education of health caregivers, advanced clinical research, and improved access to quality medical care.

To learn more, click here.

Best Places to Work 2019

The DOC Team recently accepted our Best Places to Work award from the Milwaukee Business Journal. Winners for this award are determined exclusively based on employee responses to the Best Places to Work survey, so this is particularly meaningful for our company as we work together to build on our strong culture year after year. Our people will always be our secret sauce in creating an environment of excellence, enabling DOC to deliver industry-leading customer service to our healthcare partners and consistent returns to our shareholders.

Unconscious Bias Training

Did you know that our brain receives approximately 11 million pieces of information each second? However, our conscious mind only processes about 40.

As part of DOC’s annual leadership training program, members of our team learned about the concept of unconscious bias from talented guest speaker Cheryl Lucas-DeBerry of MRA – The Management Association. In short, unconscious bias represents mental shortcuts based on social norms and stereotypes–prejudices of which we are unaware. Her talk served as a great reminder to be #mindful of the unconscious influences in our decision-making in the workplace that often goes unrecognized.

Donating Blood, Saving Lives

Physicians Realty Trust and the tenants at The Renaissance, our corporate headquarters located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, sponsored a blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross. Together, 28 donors helped save up to 84 lives! By ensuring that adequate blood supply is available for all, we can make a meaningful difference in our local community.

Many thanks to Vanessa Petura, Jody Solano, and Heidi Vaitkus for organizing our first-ever blood drive event.

Serving up Dinners at Guest House MKE

Ten Physicians Realty Trust volunteers planned, shopped, prepared, and served a dinner to 86 residents of the Guest House of Milwaukee. This nonprofit provides shelter, housing, education, and services to individuals who are homeless and seeking to transform their lives with dignity and purpose. The DOC Team had a great time working together with lots of laughs along the way, putting our C.A.R.E. philosophy into action by serving our community.

Volunteers not pictured include Mark Dukes, Joey Williams, and Erik Wahlgren.

Thank you, Team!

Celebrating Women Luncheon

In October 2019, to honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Physicians Realty Trust sponsored a table at the Baylor Scott & White Health Foundation’s 20th Annual Celebrating Women Luncheon. This event brings together more than 1,300 supporters to increase awareness and generate funding for breast cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment. We were honored to support the BSWH Team’s efforts for such a worthy cause. To learn more about the Foundation and their incredible impact on patient-centered programs, education, and technology, click here.

Summit: Saluting First Responders

At the 2019 DOC Management Summit, proceeds from our Casino Night event supported this year’s DOC Cares service recipient, the Wisconsin EMS Association (WEMSA). We chose WEMSA as our service project recipient in remembrance of the September 11 anniversary, which coincided with the first day of our Management Summit. Working together, we donated $6,155 to support WEMSA’s education and training efforts, along with over 100 stuffed animals given to kids in crisis by the WEMSA team. It was a fantastic evening of gaming and giving!

Summit: Values-Based Leadership

At our annual Physicians Realty Trust Management Summit, we were thrilled to welcome Harry Kraemer, Jr. as one of our guest keynote speakers. Mr. Kraemer, best-selling author and clinical professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, shared an inspiring keynote address on values-based leadership. During his talk, he challenged our attendees to develop their skills of self-reflection, balance, true self-confidence, and genuine humility. As a parting gift, all Summit attendees received a copy of Mr. Kraemer’s book, Becoming the Best: Build a World-Class Organization Through Values-Based Leadership.

VTO Spotlight

As part of DOC’s commitment to our team members and communities, the company established a volunteer time off (VTO) program in 2019 to provide time off with pay for individual service efforts. Recently, a group of Physicians Realty Trust team members used this benefit and volunteered at HAWS (Humane Animal Welfare Society) in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The team cleaned, organized supplies, and gave all the animals some much-needed love and attention. Great job, Carla Perez, Jessica Bissett, Ann Gurka, Kelly Farina, Allison Brey, Morgan Fredericks, and Laura Kreiser!

Summit: 2019 Recap

Physicians Realty Trust recently held our 4th Annual Management Summit at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. Over 225 partners and guests were in attendance for this two day event filled with training opportunities. We are so proud of the incredible healthcare commercial real estate team we have built and their dedication to our Invest in Better philosophy. 

Summit Hospital Partners Panel

At our 4th Annual Management Summit, a number of our hospital partners joined us for a panel discussion on Leading Your Team through Mergers & Acquisitions Transformation. During this session, prominent health system leaders shared their perspectives on hospital strategy for delivery and value-based care in an environment of mergers and acquisitions. DOC’s VP of Leasing, Amy Hall, led the discussion on how innovation plays a critical role in a merger or acquisition to promote and improve a health system’s ability to serve its patient population. On behalf of the DOC Team and our attendees, thank you Kim Davis (Catholic Health Initiatives/CommonSpirit), Mike Lappin (Aurora Health Care), Deann Manchester (USPI), and Jenni Witters (UPMC Pinnacle) for sharing your expertise.



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