It’s a privilege to write to you for the first time as chairman of the Indiana Hospital Association. It’s no surprise that people often ask the new guy, “What are your goals for your time here?” For me, though, I prefer a different question. It’s not about what I can do as chairman of this organization—I’d rather talk about what we can do collectively, as the stewards of health and well-being in our communities.
There are many ways the health of our state is measured, lots of metrics that compare us to other states—and as we all know, on just about every measure that matters, Indiana ranks no better than 40th. Such statistics are a challenge for us, an opportunity to really live up to the similar missions we all share. If we do nothing, those statistics will never change.
Improving the overall health of our citizens—that’s the simple goal I would establish for us; but of course, it’s not simple. We can’t succeed at this on our own, but we have many potential partners I believe are eager to join us in this movement, from governmental leaders and agencies to the Indiana State Medical Association to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Every single person I’ve spoken with has asked, “How can we help?” and, “When can we get started?”
I recognize we’ve got many other things on our plate. We’re collectively addressing innovation and change in such areas as telemedicine. We have a new subcommittee focused on population health initiatives, and we have many people working on addictions issues. But these fit right in with the many other places we can help move the needle for the health of our state, from smoking cessation to infant mortality to obesity to end-of-life care.
We’ve shown time and again what we can accomplish as we have collectively addressed such things as patient safety and Medicaid expansion. When we’re one voice, we can be very powerful. I believe we’ve only just begun to demonstrate the good we can accomplish collaboratively—I’m ready to get to work!
Community Health Network