This is my last opportunity to write a column as president of IHA. Ten years seem to have passed very quickly.
However, in looking back, we have been through a lot in those years. We’ve seen the elections of Presidents Obama and Trump and Governors Pence and Holcomb. I am now on my fourth Indiana State Department of Health commissioner, my sixth Family and Social Services Administration secretary and my 11th board chairman. We saw the passage and implementation of the ACA. We campaigned for Medicaid expansion and were involved in the creation and implementation of HIP 2.0. We partnered with the state to create the first Hospital Assessment Program. We developed a proactive strategy to address demands for transparency with mycareINsight.org. I started a few months before the national financial crisis and the start of the Great Recession. We moved to new offices and recruited employees with talents and skills to supplement our great team. We built new internal management and HR systems, implemented routine strategic planning and focused on team building to provide resilience and direction to our team. We modernized and strengthened our communications, developed new data services and greatly advanced our patient safety structures and teams.
Throughout these changes, IHA responded to various crises, adapted as necessary and took advantage of new opportunities. We made our decisions and created programs with certain disciplines. These included complete transparency, inclusion of all members and a core set of principles to guide our designs. We also valued collaborative relationships with other organizations such as the Indiana State Medical Association, the Indiana Organization of Nurse Executives and the three long-term care associations. We benefited tremendously from our great relationships with our partners at Hall Render and Blue & Co. We always conducted our advocacy efforts in a manner that engendered trust and respect with elected leaders and government officials.
For me personally, being in this role has been the most enjoyable and fulfilling time in my career. To be of service to hospital leaders and to have their trust is both humbling and rewarding. I continue to be in awe of hospital leaders, who work every day to balance competing demands, address financial challenges and predict the future while striving to fulfill their profound mission to patients. A hospital CEO has the most important and difficult job in the community. The best parts of this job have been making personal visits to hospitals and speaking with CEOs, boards and managers. They are constantly solving puzzles and meeting their challenges with integrity, compassion and brilliance. I have been inspired by all of you.
I leave IHA in great shape. Brian Tabor brings the perfect skills and personal characteristics to lead us into a challenging future. I am very proud of the role I played and the accomplishments of IHA during my time here. A well-led and functional Association is vital to our hospitals and most importantly to the patients we serve.
Thank you all for letting me serve in this role and for the kindness and generosity with which you’ve supported me. I leave here with many friends. A special thank you to the members who have filled IHA’s board, council and district leadership positions and to the wonderful IHA team.