The weekend was well spent in Boston, MA. Even though it was foggy, rainy, and generally miserable here all weekend, we had time with a wonderful group of people representing Planetree at a conference with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Institute for Family-Centered Care. Nearly 100 professionals and patients were gathered here to discuss the United States healthcare system. At my table of experts were some wonderful people from Washington, Texas, Arizona, New York and Boston. The following is an e-mail that I received on Sunday. I hope Dale doesn’t mind that I’ve included it. It truly says it all about the need for reform.
I am Justin’s Mom, who "happened" to be sitting next to you at the conference yesterday. I have experienced a rough 5 years of dealing with a system that, I thought, was meant to comfort and heal. I wanted to thank you for your much needed expressions of compassion. You did some healing yesterday that you may not be aware of.
I was very much impressed by the work that you’re doing, the lives that you’re saving and the example that you’re setting. I am proud of you! Having a forward thinking, multitasking CEO with compassion and sensitivity to lead, will make the difference. I truly believe some people will never get it and need to be replaced by those that do or this whole industry will make a thunderous fall. Having a mother beg for transparency following the unexplained death of her child while in a physician’s (hospitals) care is the highest form of inhumanity imaginable. Yet, the practice of silence is accepted and continues without even looking back at the personal affects of the tragedy. My goal is to say, NO MORE!
Your courage to take the reins and be in charge and lead your organization with a conviction for doing the right thing, fighting the good fight, has to work. When the not knowing became less important than the not caring, a friend from Walter Reed wrote: "We are truly social animals who need to know that someone cares. That is not a weakness; but, as a friend said, "A basic need like eating and breathing.” (I quoted him in my Powerpoint presentation for Yale med residents.)
PS Justin played the trumpet too