Monday, August 16, 2010

Proud to Tell Our Story

Recently, I attended the American Hospital Association / Health Forum Leadership Summit. This annual event draws over a thousand healthcare leaders from around the country and Canada to consider what’s new in healthcare delivery. This year, Capt. Sully Sullenberger, the captain of the US Air flight that successfully landed in the Hudson River, Vice-President Al Gore, filmmaker Ken Burns, former White House Press Secretary DeeDee Myers, economist Steven Levitt and U.S.Rep. Newt Gingrich were a few of the keynote speakers. Laura Woodburn and the Health Forum team always pull together a great conference. It was fun to see old friends and interact with some of the brightest leaders in the field. I always learn something and get energized.

This year I had the opportunity to make two presentations. The first one was in a pre-conference workshop entitled, “Sustainability…Reducing Costs-Improving Patient and Employee Satisfaction.” The panel of speakers included CEOs from both urban and rural hospitals, consultants, and policy researchers. I was pleased to share GRMC’s efforts over the past several years to get “green” and save money. For example, last year we added 400 feet of pipe insulation and installed 161 removable valve and boiler blankets in our physical plant. With a total cost of $53,000 and annual savings of $26,000 per year, it was obviously a no-brainer! It was great to hear the enthusiasm from many of the attendees. I do believe if our mission is truly to improve the health of the community, we have an obligation to do our part to when it comes to minimizing our impact on the environment. I am very proud of the Green Team at GRMC and all their accomplishments.

The other presentation was on the final day of the conference and focused on creating an “optimal healing environment.” My co-presenter was Dr. Wayne Jonas, the president of the Samueli Institute. (Learn more about the Institute and OHE here).

Dr. Jonas presented the theory and I provided the “color commentary” with real examples of how we put the evidence-based work of Samueli into practice. My good friend Sita Ananth leads the hospital relationships for Samueli and it was great to have her at the meeting. She has influenced our work greatly in this area. For more than a decade, my optimal healing team at GRMC have made us a national leader in this movement.

It was a great joy to tell our story as a shining example of how our mission comes alive because of the collective work of many committed employees. I am indeed proud of them and only wish they all could have been on hand to hear me brag a bit about their accomplishments and commitment to continuing the journey.

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