As you have heard by now, I will be retiring in June of 2017. As I approach this milestone, I reflect on my tenure at the association and the changes that have occurred in health care.
In 2007, when I became the association’s president, Governor Mitch Daniels signed the Healthy Indiana Plan into law, providing tens of thousands of uninsured Hoosier workers with coverage. That year, the national presidential campaigns were well underway, just as they are now, and in 2008, President Obama was elected. In March of 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, potentially expanding coverage to 32 million Americans and dramatically reforming hospital care delivery models and payments systems. A few years later, after significant effort by our members, Governor Mike Pence’s waiver for HIP 2.0 was approved by the Family and Social Services Administration. HIP 2.0 made it possible for more than 300,000 Hoosiers to have access to health care.
Needless to say, my time at the association has been full of positive changes for the health of our communities. The advocacy work that IHA’s members have taken on over the course of these past 10 years has been inspiring. But it isn’t over.
Throughout my tenure, it has been the work of our members that has truly made an impact on the legislature’s decisions. When our members are able to explain to their elected officials what it means specifically to their constituents, that’s when it clicks. The success of the past only magnifies the need going forward.
This election, we are encouraging all our members–from hospital CEOs, to patient safety professionals, to marketing teams and those in administrative roles–to actively participate. Indiana’s hospital industry is more than 150,000 Hoosiers strong. Candidates need to know that we care about the health and well-being of our communities and our nation. I have seen first-hand the impact that hospitals can make in policies.
The association has created a campaign titled We Care. We Vote. that hosts a lot of information about what’s at stake this election season. Please download the toolkit at IHAharmony.org/vote to learn specifics about this election, and make the pledge to vote in November.
I can’t count, over the past 10 years, how many times I’ve said this, but it’s been true each time: When we speak as one voice, as an industry, we can make a positive impact on the health of our communities. I know I’ll be able to witness it many more times before next June.