Tag Archives: health care

Margaret Mead, Rush, and The Other Guys

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead US anthropologist (1901 – 1978)

It’s been awhile since I’ve heard these words of encouragement.  It was refreshing to hear Cyndy Nayer, President and CEO for the Center of Health Value Innovation share these assurances at the Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care meeting this past week.

When pondering change on a global level, I believe that many of us often find ourselves caught somewhere between how much influence we can have on a grand scale and what is completely beyond our scope of influence.  It’s the completely beyond part that seems to paralyze us from the start. 

We have not only lost faith in the system, but more importantly we have lost faith in each other.  Without that faith it’s hard for many of us to find the courage necessary to take the first step forward.  We assume that if we do, even those that believe as we do will keep quiet, stay at the back of the line, and keep their heads down.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that everyone is without this faith.  There are several that still believe.  They are scattered among us.  I am one of the scattered.  But I too often feel trapped in that “Can I really make a difference?” mental argument. 

But I’m not a fan of paralysis.  And, I’m definitely not a fan of doing nothing.  One of my favorite bands, Rush, pointed this out in their powerful song, Free Will: “Even if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.” I choose free will. Not how do I find, as Margaret Mead so eloquently stated, that “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” that can indeed impact change for the better?

This is why I have taken the post as the Kansas Coordinator for the Patient Centered Medial Home Initiative.  Not, because I’m excited about the acronyms, or the title, but because in this role, my goal is to find those committed individuals.  I am hoping you as a reader of this blog are one of the committed. 

Health care is a great example of an important dimension of all of our lives that feels so completely beyond our control.  I’m not in this to be the hero or the savior of health care, I am in it to influence health care for the better and find others like me that want to do the same.

I’ll close with a short dialogue between Terry (Mark Wahlberg) and Allen (Will Ferrell) from The Other Guys

Terry: …the city is dying for a hero.

Allen: Really?

Terry: Yeah

Allen: What about 9 million socially conscious and unified citizens all just stepping up and doing their part?

What do you think?

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It’s about… definitions and acronyms and stories

We’re all about definitions in the business world, aren’t we?  Long hairy ones with lots and lots of syllables.  And acronyms.  Hmmm. Who doesn’t love a good acronym? 

I’ve decided that since entering into the realm of the medical world just 4 short weeks ago that acronyms rule in the world of medicine, and whomever has the most acronyms wins.  What do they win?  I’m not really sure.

But what I am sure of is that we need to understand that when communicating our various messages to the various audiences with whom we desire to understand what it is that we really do, we need to move beyond what looks great on a wall plaque or a mission statement that no one in the office can remember.  (So, how was that sentence for a mouthful?  It could be a mission statement.) In real speak, we need to develop meaningful messages that can be shared orally in the form of a short story (We all like good stories, don’t we?) or can be written on something as small as a cocktail napkin.

So, why am I sharing this with you?

As I shared earlier in this post, I was hired 28 days ago to coordinate the Kansas Patient Centered Medical Home Initiative.  As the name implies, it’s centered in health care.  My charge was, and still is, to not only coordinate the various aspects of this audacious task, but to find a way to craft messages about the initiative that anyone can understand.  The PCMH (Remember, it’s health care, and health care loves acronyms.) business model is just that, a model.  It’s a concept.  So, it’s difficult to visualize, even more difficult to understand.

And, there are a variety of stakeholders (fancy business speak) that are impacted by this new model of health care, each of which have their own level of knowledge and their own personal agenda. So, how am I to craft a meaningful message or set of messages for all of these people that makes sense?  My solution?  I’ll ask the stakeholders.

So, stakeholders, because guess what, each and every one of us that are living and breathing are stakeholders in health care, what does the following mean to you?

The definition of a medical home according to Kansas law (K.S.A. 75-7429) is: “A health care delivery model in which a patient establishes an ongoing relationship with a physician or other personal care provider in a physician-directed team, to provide comprehensive, accessible and continuous evidence-based primary and preventive care, and to coordinate the patient’s health care needs across the health care system in order to improve quality and health outcomes in a cost-effective manner.”


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