Chairman’s Letter

“Dear Lord, be with us during this meeting. Help us to have open minds to the changes occurring all around us. May we use the gifts and talents you have given us to improve the health of our community and to further your kingdom. Amen.”

As a leader in a faith-based organization, I have opened thousands of meetings over the past 20-plus years with that simple prayer. More often than not, I have added the proviso that the prayer seems more apropos than ever with each passing day.

The fact is that we all definitely need “to have open minds to the changes occurring all around us.” Recent changes in Washington, D.C., and the winds of future change may make our roles as health care leaders in our communities far more challenging.

In recent years, I have stated repeatedly that the transition of the payment platform from volume to value has resulted in the most satisfying time in my nearly 40-year career. Marshalling resources to assist patients in attaining, and then maintaining, their optimal level of health is the focus of my work and could, and should, be the unified goal of each of our organizations and the U.S. health care system as a whole. Indeed, the Affordable Care Act, imperfect as it might be, has required, encouraged or supported new practices and behaviors by payers, providers and patients consistent with the goal of improving access, improving quality and reducing the cost of health care for many of the underserved in America. To repeal it without a robust replacement plan would be a huge disservice to the American people and to all of our organizations.

As changes take place as a result of the recent election, each of us must remind our state and federal lawmakers and other community thought leaders of the responsibilities we share to ensure access to afford- able, quality health care for all whom we are privileged to serve.

I thank you for the opportunity to serve as chairman of the Indiana Hospital Association in 2017. I will do my best to serve the membership effectively during what portends to be a very interesting, and possibly tumultuous, year. I would appreciate any prayers on my behalf.