For doctor, rosary enhances guidance and care to help heal

| August 14, 2014 | 0 Comments
Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Dr. Peter Daly

How do you apply your faith and Catholic values at work?

By treating everyone with equal respect, understanding that everyone in our organization matters. As an independent practice owner, I am responsible for the culture of our medical practice organization. I want to set that based on Jesus Christ’s leadership style of servant leader. We do not want an attitude of “it’s not my job,” but rather, how can I pitch in to lighten the entire workload of bettering our patient’s condition.

Please tell a story about a time when applying your faith at work really made a difference.

I began carrying my rosary with me after my Cursillo retreat (which was life changing for me) in 1996. Shortly thereafter, I encountered a patient who was struggling with her condition and clinical course. Her suffering expressed itself as sadness and frustration to her family, my Summit team and myself. Her appointments became prolonged and frequently backed up my whole schedule and the other patients.

As I listened to her crying, I found myself holding on to the rosary in my pocket. It prompted me to pray to God to give me patience and to hear her complaints once again in a different light.

Two weeks later, I received a card from her, thanking me that I was her “angel” because I had really listened to her that day. She wrote that she had been considering suicide, and because she was given time and kindness by my staff and myself, she was able to turn to her family, and work through her suffering and start anew. I felt a little guilty when I read the letter that day because, truthfully, I was frustrated during her appointment and I was worried about all my other patients in the waiting room. Her letter overwhelmed me, and I give all the credit to the grace God gave me (and my patient) when the rosary drew me into prayer at that moment. I realized on that day how powerful the rosary is and how important each and every patient of mine is.

Who or what has been most inspirational to you in bringing your faith to the marketplace?

My wife LuLu — as a nurse, a mother and a friend, she never holds back her faith as the fabric of her life. If you simply follow where her feet go, you’ll find her in Mass, adoration, and many sites of simply helping others and performing acts of hospitality for them. I have been striving to follow those same principles of faith and action for others.

What achievement at work are you most proud of?

Sharing the servant spirit with my colleagues at Summit Orthopedics. From 2004 through 2008, LuLu and I helped build the Holy Family Surgery Center in Honduras on the grounds of a Catholic NPH orphanage (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, which means “Our Little Brothers and Sisters” in Spanish). Many in our Summit organization have helped in our Honduras effort, including our surgical sterile processing people, the athletic trainers, the X-ray technicians, secretaries, physician assistants, business office, and even our CFO and CEO. They have all offered their expertise and energy in their own niches with efforts in improving the lives of our patients here in our practice, and also in Honduras. My Summit Orthopedic co-workers have accompanied me to our Holy Family Surgery Center (HFSC) in Honduras; they, too, have experienced this giving and receiving exchange. Many of my 35-person orthopedic group have donated to sustaining HFSC’s mission. Our Summit Orthopedic group has been the anchor sponsor for an annual 5K run/walk in St. Paul to benefit the NPH Orphanages. Several partners have also generously offered to sponsor the cost of key participants needed on medical brigades who cannot otherwise afford it. HFSC is also unique in that it resides on a 2,000-acre property in rural Honduras with 550 children — a beautiful setting for a family to visit. Thus, many medical volunteers travel with their family to HFSC, where the non-medical family members can assist with the workings of the orphanage. U.S. children help the Honduran children with their English homework, play soccer and assist in the chores of the orphanage.

The evenings are filled with testimonials from some of the children growing up on the orphanage, from the staff that work there, and from the medical personnel who share the clinical cases encountered.

It creates a milieu for personal growth and transformation while one sees life as it is lived in the majority of our globe. To share that growth with one’s family and the Summit family is truly a unique opportunity.

In what specific ways have you experienced God’s presence in your workplace?

I cannot even enumerate all the small miracles I’ve witnessed, but perhaps it is the kindness of all those of our Summit Orthopedic organization that interact in making each individual patient important, and not our organizational hierarchy. It keeps us Summit doctors humble and reminds us that we are nothing more than one of the many threads in the rope and lifeline to our patients’ well-being.


Age: 54

Company: Summit Orthopedics

Title: Vice president

Parish: Lumen Christi Catholic Community in St. Paul

Spouse: Florence (LuLu)

Children: Talia, 28; Patricia, 26 (husband Brian Borg); Michael, 25; Patrick, 23

Volunteer activities: Positions of governance for local hospitals, as well as for local medical society; provide medical care for the needy, including internationally; volunteered as a family at a Catholic orphanage in Honduras, Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, later built and equipped the Holy Family Surgery Center (HFSC, on the NPH Honduras orphanage site.


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Category: Leading With Faith