|Message from Your ACHE Regent|
For those of us in the Northwest, we live for this time of year. Long days, generally sunny skies, the beginning of crabbing season, the end of hectic school schedules, and hopefully a well-earned break.
I had the honor and pleasure to visit with a number of students this past spring. I visited the University of Washington Masters in Health Administration day program. This group of over 20 students is in a full time program over the next two years. Most of the students I met are just ending their first year, heading to internships here and across the country for the summer, before returning in September. Many are student members of ACHE and we talked about how for me (and I am sure for most of you), ACHE is my professional “home”. We have committed to ACHE, invested in advancement, donated our time to chapters and colleagues, and attended events. I encouraged them to remain committed and to think about what they want to both give and receive from their membership.
The UW completed its Capstone projects for the second year students. In this process, student teams present their work to a panel of evaluators and to their peers. Projects were wide ranging and covered many of your organizations across the state. I participated as a reviewer, and had the opportunity to hear the presentations and to ask questions of the teams. I was really impressed by the quality of the work, the preparation of the teams, and their ability to field some tough questions from the panel.
This year, I also asked the UW if I could talk to the Executive MHA cohorts – both the first and second year groups. These are many mid-career professionals who are blending full time work with hard studies over weekends and nights. Often, this program is overlooked since it is not a traditional day program. Yet, it is a key group of people who can benefit from and contribute to the Chapter and the larger ACHE. Again, I encouraged them to consider membership and asked that they think about what they can get and give from membership. It was nice to see several existing student and regular members.
The Washington Chapter wrapped up its social gatherings – what are termed Meet and Mingles – for the summer. These are no agenda gatherings over food and drink, with the intent to connect colleagues and make the Chapter and ACHE a bit more personal. I encourage you to try to make at least one if it is close by. If you would like to host one anywhere around the state, I am happy to help get it organized, connect you with resources that can help, and attend.
Finally, we had a successful ACHE Cluster here in Seattle in June. These are well organized events that bring ACHE faculty and face to face credits to our state. We are working on ways to bring more face to face credit educational events to the state at an affordable price – so stay tuned.
In all the conversations with students and in talking with people at Chapter events and at the Cluster, it reminds me that in this profession, everyone has a story – a story of why they are in this field and how they got to where they are today. Seldom is it a linear path through one’s career, despite all the best laid plans. I reminded students of this fact. When I work with students as a mentor, I ask my protégés at the first meeting to come back next time with a simple page telling me their story – how did they get here, what path did they take and what direction do they think they want to head in the future. What I learn each time is amazing. Try it yourself. Write your story on a page and share it with a colleague or a family member.
I also am struck that there is also a deeper story that we each have about what drew us to healthcare and what keeps us here. These are often personal and very emotional stories, sometimes tinged with tragedy or driven by hope for change. When I am struggling with a task at hand, I know that I often just need to reflect on a few of my stories to remind myself of the larger narrative of what we are all trying to do.
So, enjoy the summer, tell stories to each other, and come back ready to continue improving healthcare.
Bill Reid, FACHE
Regent for Washington