“It’s an amazing cross-section,” explains Jack Weiner, CEO and president of Oakland County’s St. Joseph’s patient roster.  “We’re situated in two cities, affluent Bloomfield Hills and economically challenged Pontiac.”

His staff is equally diversified, and Weiner speaks with special respect and affection for the doctors and surgeon of Asian Indian background.  “We hired our first Indian doctor in 1972,” he points out with pride.  “And now, we are adding Indian physicians and specialists to our medical staff every year.  As a group, they’ve proven themselves as proficient in leadership roles as in patient care.  In fact, as a group, they’ve excelled at both.”

 Cardiology is one of the fields in which St. Joseph’s Mercy can claim real leadership, especially through the services of Drs. Kirit Patel and Nishit Choksi, who Weiner numbers with his most valued employees.  Pioneers in cutting edge cardiovascular technology, including the latest robotics, Drs. Patel and Choksi demonstrate characteristics that Weiner particularly values in physicians; characteristics that may not be uniquely Indian, but which seem to surface with frequency among them:  “It’s not only skill, but attitude.  I am very aware of the patient/doctor confidence that these physicians instill; they maintain an uplifting spirit even while dealing with life and death situations.  It’s simply amazing.  I witness compassion and commitment on a daily basis, and that helps to keep St. Joe’s at the forefront of patient care, particularly in cardiology.

 Weiner is justifiably proud of his cardiology team.  Ranked among the top 100 heart hospitals across the nation, the medical team at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland’s Heart Institute continues to lead the battle against heart disease.   As one of the most prominent and well-respected heart programs in the nation, the Heart Institute at SJMO is setting new standards for heart care every day.

Weiner demonstrates some of these new standards with the ‘remote presence robot’ used in stroke and cardiology care. In brief, Remote Presence is the ability to project doctors from one location to another via telecommunication, enabling them to hear, see, talk and move around as though they were there, and thus, visit more often with patients and hospital staff.  The particular unit that Weiner demonstrated was the RP-7, a wireless robot that can be placed under the direct control of a remote physician seated at the vendor’s proprietary control station, or at a software-equipped laptop.  The control station and RP-7 robot are linked via a secure combination of broadband, Internet and wireless technologies.





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