Monday, July 22, 2013

Investigators’ Meetings and the Blue Angels

As I traved back from an investigators’ meeting this weekend on a new, stentless heart valve that takes less time to implant and potentially combines the best technology from surgical and trans-catheter experience, I was reflecting on that meeting and my activities at MHRI.

My job at the investigators' meeting was to stand up in front of a room full of cardiac surgeons and share with them the importance of the echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound) in the trial.  I encouraged them to have a true co-investigator who makes sure the imaging data obtained from the study is as good as possible so we can accurately assess the new heart valve.  My first slide said that this could be the best valve in the world, and they could be the best surgeon in the world who puts the valve in perfectly, but without the rest of the research team, we will never have the data to prove it.

As I was on stage, my mind jumped back to my monthly message I sent out earlier this month with MHRI’s eNewsletter.  It was all about the Blue Angels, their high performance climb and the power (necessity) of teamwork in order to maximally perform. 

 I also shared how being part of this team, doing great work and helping our patients today and patients of the future is an honor and privilege that we need to recognize. The Blue Angels have a phrase, ‘Glad to be Here®’ that sums it up. 

The following is an excerpt from John Foley’s article from the Executive Forum that I shared in my monthly message (John Foley article):

“Glad to Be Here” was a statement of belief that we shared on the Blue Angels team. It was our centerpoint, our purpose larger than self. Reflecting back on my experiences, it’s clear to me that those four words were really the “secret sauce” of our high-performance team.

Sometimes “Glad to Be Here” meant that we were thankful for the opportunity to be a Blue Angel. Sometimes it meant that we were thankful for being surrounded by a great team of high-performing individuals. And sometimes it meant that we were just grateful for being alive.

Always, however, “Glad to Be Here” was our mind-set. It expressed our joy, our awareness, and our readiness to perform at the highest levels. It was a statement of our love, our commitment, our trust, and our respect for everyone on the Blue Angels team, pilots and support crew alike. Each time a member of the Blue Angels said, “Glad to Be Here,” the special bond was reaffirmed and strengthened.

 I ended my talk emphasizing that this trial was going to succeed or fail based on the strength of the entire heart team.  I let them know I was ‘Glad to be Here’ and contribute to this clinical trial. 

When a Blue Angel's pilot is asked about their team
they describe the men and women that keep their
airplane flying and performing at its peak

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