Monday, February 6, 2017

Weathering Change

Below is my monthly message for the Febrary 2017 Focus. You can view the Focus at

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.  - Jimmy Dean

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I’ve used this monthly message previously to write on the topic of change. Change is hard, change is frightening, change is inevitable and change can be very exciting – all at the same time.

For my son, if you ask him what the biggest change has been in the last year, he will tell you about starting high school. As adults, we may talk about a new job, moving into a new home, or the start of a new relationship. These are all very big things that have a tremendous effect on our life. However, what happens when the world that surrounds your private life starts to change? Well, that can raise emotions to a whole new level.

For the last several years, we at MedStar have been part of many changes – performance transformation, evolution into a distributed care delivery network, and health care payment reform, just to name a few! But to be honest, that is nothing compared to what is happening today. These last two weeks have brought some of the most significant changes this nation has ever seen. The world that surrounds our world is changing. Many folks are asking “what happens next?”

While I certainly don’t know exactly what happens next, what I do know is that when changes surround us, I look inward. I personally take comfort at foundational aspects of life - the things that are steady and can anchor and help guide us through dynamic and unpredictable times.

At the last quarterly MHRI Managers’ meeting, we heard from Dr. Evans and took comfort that the MedStar 2020 vision and strategies hold strong and will guide us through the likely changes in the healthcare agenda. Just two days ago at the MHRI Board of Directors’ meeting, I again took comfort hearing how our portfolio of research and the diversity of funding will position us well with potential changes in sponsoring agencies. And as you think about it, it makes sense — our investigative teams continue to follow through on the instincts that make research so important: verifying and validating when something does not make sense, figuring out why and how something works, innovating new solutions to problems, examining new problems and results. All of this adds up to discoveries that advance the health of our communities. This work will only become more important in times of uncertainty, and in fact, can bring great optimism and accomplishment despite other areas of unsettlement.

Yes, there will be changes in our life and yes, there will be times that the world around our daily life will change, but despite all that, we are well positioned at MedStar and MHRI.  We will not only weather the change, but excel. It’s about finding that balance between changes in the world around you and applying the foundational principles and good work within.

So with that, I hope you take some time this afternoon to keep that balance within your own life and enjoy something that is planned and regularly scheduled every year – the Super Bowl!


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