Getting to know Dr. Glynn

Give Dr. Loretto Glynn an hour of your time and she’ll have you sharing in her dreams for the Parkview Health pediatric program. They are clear and ambitious and meticulously plotted. And it’s just the beginning! Dr. Glynn joined the Parkview team in October, bringing with her a contagious energy and strong momentum for her specialty. Her vision for expanding services available to younger patients in the Fort Wayne area is a true victory for the community.

With a heart for healing and desire to make Parkview synonymous with world class pediatric care, Dr. Glynn is one of the self-starting, forward-thinking, hugely motivated People of Parkview.

Name: Loretto Glynn, MD

Title: Director of Pediatric Specialty Services and Director of Pediatric Surgery, Parkview Regional Medical Center

Education and career journey:
Loyola University Chicago Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
Rush University Medical School, Medical Doctor
Residency General Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago
Fellowship in Surgical Critical Care, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Fellowship in Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City
Practice in Pediatric Surgery at Loyola University Chicago, University of Chicago and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

What made you choose your specialty?
I had an intense desire to take care of children. I wanted to be a pediatrician when I started medical school. As I progressed through medical school, I found that I enjoyed general surgery. Pediatric surgery allowed me to combine the two.

What is a typical day like for you?
I start with my clinic work at about 7 a.m. This involves seeing patients in the hospital, in the clinic, and performing operations in the operating room.

I spend an average of 3 hours per day performing administrative duties, such as program development, recruitment of pediatric specialists, and planning for expansion of the facilities.

What brought you to Fort Wayne?
There was an opportunity to help the community by putting a comprehensive pediatric program in the city. There is great need for this. Children leave the area in significant numbers to go 2 hours away for problems that could easily be treated in Fort Wayne if the appropriate pediatric specialists were here. Parkview Health has been very supportive of the program. Their goals are in good alignment with what I want to do myself professionally. My best friend is the new director of Maternal Fetal Medicine here. She encouraged me to look at the opportunity and she was right.  It is a great place to build a program.

You’ve worked with some of our other new team members. Can you explain those connections?
Dr. Carroll and I have been friends for over 30 years, since the first day of medical school.  We worked closely together in our last job and enjoyed it so much.  We are starting to work with each other, as well as other specialists, to develop a program for providing a continuum of care for congenital abnormalities.

What moment would you count as your greatest success to this point?
I had a very complicated patient 4 ½ years ago, who I performed multiple operations on, including a complex reconstruction of her upper GI tract and her abdominal wall. Eventually, I got her back to eating, growing and developing, and enjoying Justin Bieber concerts.  When I informed her and her grandmother that I would be leaving the Chicago area to come to Fort Wayne, they were so happy for me, and so grateful for all that I did to help her.  Just hearing about how she is able to dance around at those concerts with her other teenage friends, made me realize how important what I do is to my patients and their families.  To me, it was always “all in a day’s work,” but when I stop to think about it, it overwhelms me.  She was a great surgical success. I was incredibly proud of the work done by my teams at two different hospitals to care for her.

What is the biggest difference between operating on adults and operating on children?
Children are quite resilient. They are also smaller and more delicate. They come in a broad range of sizes and developmental stages, which I have to keep in mind when caring for them. It’s also different in that the decisions are made by the parents on behalf of the child. It is very important to develop a team approach with the parents, so the very best plan of care can be devised for their child.

Hearing your child is sick can be devastating. How do you work with parents to get through complicated cases?
I find that it is most effective to be patient and thorough in explaining the problem. Once they understand the situation, I make recommendations for a plan of treatment.  I explain why the treatment is indicated and the risks involved. I give them plenty of time to ask questions.  Although parents are not happy their child is ill or needs an operation, they are relieved that there are people in the area who know what to do and a facility that is dedicated to the care of children.

What’s something you hope to accomplish in your career?
My goal is to set up a program that provides comprehensive, top quality care to children in an area of need.  This is a multifactorial process that is quite a challenge for me. I am excited about the opportunity. I also have contributed a great deal in the area of education.  I hope to build an educational opportunity for children’s care at Parkview, once the program is fully developed. 

What qualities make a great surgeon?
I think a great surgeon does not look or act any particular way.  Each surgeon brings something special to the profession.  Great surgeons are male, female, black, white, Asian, introverted, extroverted ...  There are some common qualities, such as being interested in technical aspects of care, being technically facile, having a calm approach to problems, being a strong team leader and most importantly, having ownership of the patient he or she is privileged to operate on.

What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I am a competitive ballroom dancer.  I compete regionally in Chicago and nationally.  I am an expert in trivia in the following areas: Brady Bunch, Godfather (1,2 and 3), ballet, and anything to do with Audrey Hepburn.

Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do outside of work?
I studied ballet for 40 years before switching to competitive ballroom and Latin dancing.  I also garden and bake.

If you could tell people to read one book in their lifetime, which would it be?
This is a tough one.  There are so many great ones! If I had to pick one, it would be “The Godfather” by Mario Puzzo.  So many life lessons in The Godfather.

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
Be bold in all things certain, and be thoughtful and cautious when you are uncertain.

What would we find on your bucket list and what do you plan to check off next?
I don’t have one yet.  As I am 52, I probably should make it now before it is too late!

If you have 5 minutes to relax what do you do?
I have a glass of wine, and talk with my best friend, if she isn’t too busy.

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