Monday, January 6, 2020

New Year, New Opportunities

Below is my monthly message for the January 2020 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year brings new opportunities. With that spirit in mind, for the first time in over 10 years of writing this monthly column, I have found myself unexpectantly with a ‘guest writer’. Read that sentence again. I unexpectedly have a guest writer? Let me explain…

With the start of each year we ask ourselves ‘where did the year go?’ and ‘what did we get done?’ With further reflection, we may even shift from ‘volume to value’ – we realize that it may not be the length of the list of accomplishments from the year but rather the importance of them that matters most. Therefore, I ask you the more important question: What are you proud of from this year?

For me, I am proud of my son. Throughout the years, you have heard about his first day of school and his little league adventures. Now he is a senior in high school and, within the last few weeks, we learned that he got into the college of his first choice through early decision. That is a lot to be proud of itself. However, around the same time as his acceptance news, he surprised me when he
wrote and published a written column about his time in his prior school. I encourage you to read it as my ‘guest writer’ for the month. It is thoughtful, moving, funny, and uses his own natural voice. I had no idea he was writing this until it was published and he had no idea of the impact it would have until he received almost a hundred emails/texts from other alumni or their family. In it, he writes: “From a young age, I was taught to stand up and stand out for who you are and who you want to be. This all-important lesson stemmed from the education I received...”.
You can read the full message here:

Just as I am proud at home in the accomplishments of loved ones, at work I similarly take the greatest pride in the accomplishments of those I have the honor to work with – whether a first scientific paper, a successful high-profile presentation, or a promotion to a leadership position within MHRI. This is what matters most in life and this is what builds a great organization that will continue to go on to make significant contributions.

This new year, as you make your new year’s resolutions for what you will do to better yourself, consider making a resolution of how you will aid those around you to become the best version of themselves. Together, we will all make a difference that advances health for generations to come.

Happy New Year and I can’t wait to see what we do together in 2020!


P.S. Mark your calendars now for Monday, April 6, 2020, for the 2020 MedStar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium! View the flyer here.

Read Focus at