Being at the helm of the Quality Institute, I have the privilege of getting to know the leadership of our stellar membership, which spans every sector of health care — as well as state and local leaders focused on improving the health and wellness of the people they serve. I’ve heard from many of you about the challenges of planning for 2021 and beyond. Every day is a rollercoaster of last-minute pivots to address the crisis at hand. I feel the same struggles as we, too, plan for the year ahead.
As we collectively battle the coronavirus, support vaccination, and look forward to brighter days, we must use the power and wisdom of our membership and keep the focus on how we can help one another. I have seen how the pandemic has strengthened collaboration and advanced collective action across and within industries. We must work to retain these stronger connections even after we make our way to the other side of this pandemic.
Yesterday, we hosted a webinar that featured two leaders I greatly admire: Leah Binder, the CEO of The Leapfrog Group, and Don Parker, the President of Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic. Leah’s words helped refocus me and renewed my resolve to keep pushing for safety even as we face the great challenges of the pandemic. She extolled our members to remember that if you fail to focus on patient safety you have nothing. Safety must be at the core of everything you do as a health care provider. And Don provided a call to action for all leaders, especially leaders in health care, to focus on the emotional wellness of their colleagues during these stressful times. Don was asked how to encourage health care providers to get the mental health services and supports they need. He responded that leaders must show their own vulnerability. Don said he frequently shares his own story: how he is doing and what he is facing. He believes leaders need to honestly express their own emotions to create a judgment-free place so others will get the care they need.
At the Quality Institute, we spent 2020 checking in with you and listening to your needs and concerns. We responded. We revamped our programs and materials to be digitally accessible and took on new work to meet pandemic-specific demands, such as developing Recommendations for Perinatal Care During COVID-19, partnering with Rutgers Project ECHO to support nursing homes, and developing a workgroup and resources for our Mayors Wellness Campaign to help mayors address the emotional well-being of their residents. We also hosted dozens of essential webinars that have been recorded and are available on our website. We know these webinars can support your needs and help you expand your knowledge.
All of this critical work will continue into 2021, along with additional work on issues ranging from reproductive health to healthy aging. I look forward to sharing more about this work in future blogs. In the meantime, stay well, get vaccinated, and keep up the good work. We’ll get through this together.