Toy True bracing for inauguration

Published 5:37 am Thursday, January 8, 2009

By Staff
Dowagiac resident Toy True has been spending her work week in Washington, D.C., since the beginning of December.
She is serving as interim director of clinical resource management for a 950-bed acute care inner-city hospital in the district.
As part of the assignment, she is helping the hospital prepare for the potential increase in volume of patients needing medical treatment just due to the increase in visitors associated with the events.
The hospital not only serves the community as a level-one trauma service, but is a primary burn treatment center for the region.
"The citywide emergency management team has diligently been preparing for this event, and our hospital is pivotal in that plan," True said Wednesday from Washington.
"The lessons learned from 9/11 have taught us to plan and prepare for the worst. We are working with post-acute facilities which normally do not accept discharged patients on the weekend and holidays to partner in a citywide effort to do so on this unusual weekend – and holiday – just prior to the inauguration.
"During a normal week, we are usually at capacity," she said. "We hope to discharge as many patients as possible to free up beds to serve the increased population due to the anticipated millions who will visit the city during the following week."
On assignment from the Center For Case Management, an internationally renowned hospital consulting firm, True's day-to-day operations have been to provide leadership as director of a 60-person clinical resource management team and consulting services to the hospital.
It is coincidental that her term there is during this historic event.
"The city has studied the statistics of crowd behaviors, and is expecting 400 crush injuries alone, just from the number of people flooding the square footage of spaces. Our helicopter service will be unavailable because the only aircraft allowed in the airspace will be provided by the military. So military medi-vac units are planned to deliver critical patients to their treatment destinations. Home care agencies are troubleshooting how they will get through the congested city to see their patients."
True has enjoyed being able to fly home every weekend after her 4 day work week to be with her husband Harry Little. "I could live without the travel, but the work has been incredible. I have always wanted to do consulting as my 'retirement job.' It has been exciting to collaborate and work for the Boston based Center for Case Management; with the industry leaders I have admired, whose books I've read and research I've followed. I have used the time away to study and write, in hopes of completing my PhD in Organizational Psychology. This is great for someone who just loves to learn and teach. Thank God for cell phones. I can still talk with husband and nag my son on a daily basis."
She plans to remain on this assignment until the end of February, and looks forward to some time off before accepting the next assignment. She plans getting involved in some research activities at The Center for Case Management, authoring some articles and training materials that will be available through the website ( "Hotel hotel life hasn't been too bad, although I have relinquished my room to the emergency management team from the district on the 19th, &20th. The hospital's vice presidents are bringing airbeds into their offices, so I will do the same. We don't want to be trapped away from the hospital if the worst happens.