RIVERVIEW — Brandon Regional Hospital CEO Bland Eng wanted his speech to be memorable.
He was, after all, addressing Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce members at their first "Synergy" monthly membership luncheon Tuesday at the Regent.
Speaking to more than 200 business leaders, he didn't want to lose their attention, but he also didn't want them to lose their lunch.
So at one point, Eng paused for a moment and offered everyone who was still digesting their chicken and potatoes an opportunity to turn away before showing photos of a severed arm from a patient who had just suffered a brutal motorcycle accident.
Eng's PowerPoint presentation featuring photos and X-rays gave members a sense of what happens at the 389-bed hospital on a daily basis. It also gave a boost to a new chamber initiative designed to spur greater networking.
With a tip of the hat to the Learning Channel's long-lost show, Medical Miracles, Eng's presentation depicted intense surgical procedures Brandon doctors have successfully completed.
There was the "widow maker" heart attack blockage that took only 41 minutes to reopen an artery. He also displayed a pair of nail gun accidents — one to the head, one to the hand — and some broken bones from when a soldier fell 15 feet from a helicopter.
And of course, the presentation included the story of how doctors spent five hours in the operating room trying to reattach the limb from the motorcycle accident before realizing it wasn't viable. They converted the process into an amputation. The patient survived and so did the shoulder.
Eng, who oversees a $60 million facility expansion that includes a new 70-bed building, wasn't trying to shock the crowd, but rather promote his "business" that too often is looked upon as a service provider.
"In health care, we are pretty bad at promoting ourselves," Eng said. "We entered into business to take care of folks. This is the backbone of the community. This is an opportunity to educate the people we touch."
Chamber president Laura Simpson, elated to see new faces and double the crowd she anticipated, hopes this new luncheon format will take off for local businesses with Synergy meetings planned for the first Tuesday of every month.
"This allows our members a reason to come together in one place and follow up with each other," Simpson said.
Brandon wrestling coach Russ Cozart, who owned his own wrestling business, is scheduled to be the featured speaker on April 7.
No word yet on whether he plans to show gory images of wrestlers with broken bones.
Eric Vician can be reached at [email protected]