Learning From Others

Over the years, I have garnered more wisdom from articles and books shared by friends and colleagues, than I learned in graduate school at a leading university.  In particular, Drs. Rick Ervin and Alva Whitehead have improved my knowledge, understanding and service by their continual encouragement and steady flow of good reading material. 

Dr. F. Richard Ervin, Medical Director of Informatics

Dr. Alva W. Whitehead, Sr. Vice President of Medical Staff Services

For instance, Dr. Rick Ervin made sure I saw an editorial in the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal in January 2010.  The article is entitled ‘Look Ahead With Stoicism – And Optimism’ by Peggy Noonan who was one of President Ronald Reagan’s speech writers.  I placed a link here for you to enjoy as well. http://www.peggynoonan.com/article.php?article=504

I will give you some great quotes/thoughts from Ms. Noonan:

•  “We’re at the clean start of a new decade, and it wouldn’t be bad if the national watchwords were repair, rebuild and return, with an eye toward what is now our central project, though we haven’t fully noticed, and that is keeping our country together.  So many forces exist to tear us apart.  We have to do what we can to hold together in the long run.”

•  “Maybe the most worrying trend the past 10 years can be found in this phrase: “They forgot the mission.” So many great American institutions – institutions that every day help hold us together – acted as if they had forgotten what they were about, what their role and purpose was, what they existed to do.”

•  “So what to do? Here my friend the lawyer’s stoicism and mindless optimism might come in handy, for turning around institutions is a huge, long and uphill fight.  It probably begins with taking the one thing we all hate to take in our society, and that is personal responsibility.”

•  “If you work in a great institution: Do you remember the mission? Do you remember why you went to work there, what you meant to do, what the institution meant to you …”

•  “…but it could put a moment’s focus on a question that is relevant to people’s lives and that is: how in the coming decade can we do better? How can we repair and rebuild?”

Ms. Noonan’s challenge reminds us of our mission at McLeod Health – to improve the health and well-being of the people of this region. As we move forward into 2010, facing this next year of change together, may we find hope and encouragement in our service to others.


2 Responses to “Learning From Others”

  1. David Grayson says:

    I am a New Zealand CMO and had the great privilege of learning from Alva at an IHI leadership forum last year. He is a ‘treasure’ for McLeod! He exemplifies the message in a saying of our Maori: He aha te mea nui? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. (What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people.)

    • Rob Colones says:

      Thanks David, it’s great to hear from you. We have been blessed with Dr. Whitehead’s service to others and his wisdom in simplifying life.