The MVP (Mission, Value, Philosophy) Program recognizes physicians who go above and beyond in demonstrating Advocate Health Care’s core values of Compassion, Excellence, Partnership, Equality and Stewardship. Nominated by a patient, Dr. LaReau was chosen as Advocate’s Value Leader for the fourth quarter in the value of compassion. Read the heartfelt patient nomination below.
I would like to let you know of a truly remarkable surgeon you have on staff at your hospital. Dr. Justin LaReau is not only one of the best doctors I’ve had the privilege to meet, he is also one of the most caring individuals I’ve ever known.
My 95-year-old mother had fallen in 2003 and broken her hip replacement. At that time, no doctor would tackle the job of fixing it so she lived for seven years dependent on a walker. This past summer the pain became so great that she was confined to a wheelchair. She was told by another physician that she must have surgery but probably no physician in the suburbs would or could do it; she would have to go to Rush in the city. My mother is blind and there was no way she could’ve handled that.
Upon the suggestion of one of your nurses, we went to see a local physician who said Dr. LaReau should be able to help my mom. Of course, my mom put off talking to Dr. LaReau until the pain was so intense that she was admitted to the hospital. We met Dr. LaReau there. He was performing surgery that day. He spent almost an hour out of a very busy day to sit and talk to both of us about her options. I appreciated that he didn’t try to scare her into having the surgery; he actually carefully cautioned her against it. At her age, with atrial fibrillation and having to go through grueling rehab, he told her how difficult this would be for her. But, my mother felt it was her only option since life in a wheelchair is extremely difficult for someone who is blind.
Dr. LaReau performed a 7-1/2 hour surgery that was a resounding success. My brother, who had flown in from London, declared that it was “a work of art.” Beyond the fact that my mother could now walk pain-free, what was so outstanding was the unbelievable concern and care that Dr. LaReau showed to her. He even called the CCU each day to check on her the weekend after her surgery despite the fact that he was not on call.
Recently, my mother fell and cracked some ribs, spending a few days in the hospital. She couldn’t believe it when one evening Dr. LaReau stopped in to visit. He had been seeing his patients and saw her name on the roster. He just wanted to see how she was doing. I cannot tell you how much this meant to my mother. The next day it was all she could talk about….the doctor who had taken his own time just to come see an elderly blind lady to tell her how wonderful he thought she was! We both believe that Dr. LaReau is quite exceptional. In this day when doctors are overworked, hurried, under attack, worried about lawsuits, etc., it is rare to find a doctor who truly takes time and cares about the whole patient. I feel that Dr. LaReau does just that. Sometimes a touch of a hand is as important as the touch of a scalpel in the hand of a gifted surgeon.