The future of WSHA

October 20, 2016

Cassie Sauer, who will take over as President and CEO of the Washington State Hospital Association in January 2017, was introduced to the membership at the October 13-14 Annual Meeting. This is an excerpt from her speech, which can be read in its entirety here.

This is an amazing organization with a rich history and a bright future. Being here these last days has inspired me even more about what we can accomplish together.

The challenges facing the health care system in a quickly transforming world are substantial – but so are the opportunities. It is an exciting time for the Washington State Hospital Association to be leading and shaping the future of health care, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

WSHA doesn’t change leaders very often. I am only the fourth, and this is our 84th meeting as an association. This wonderful strength in leadership continuity allows us to be grounded and prepared for the change on the horizon for both WSHA and WSHA members.

For WSHA, creating the public policy framework to support members’ success is job one. Public policy has a huge impact on care delivery. And, at the moment, the political landscape is more than a little chaotic.

Another major asset for WSHA is our collective action on safety and quality. WSHA is uniquely positioned to achieve region-wide results on quality and safety. The public tolerance for medical errors has evaporated, and it is in all of our interest to share knowledge on safety with each other.

In addition to our strong work in policy and patient safety, our other significant asset is you, our members. You are smart, strategic and mission-driven. Your are willing to endure individual discomfort testifying in front of a legislative committee or sharing a story of a medical error with colleagues when you know it will lead to collective victories. It’s amazing.

Our name at WSHA has three parts. Washington State, Hospital and Association.

Well, we aren’t just Washington State anymore, and we shouldn’t be… We also aren’t just hospitals anymore. Members provide a broad range of care. The last part of our name – association. We are your association, and we need to make sure the center holds – there is no one else besides us advocating for the interests of Washington State Hospitals.

I feel deeply the sense of responsibility that each of you carries: Our communities and our patients are counting on us. Mostly, they don’t know and will never know who WSHA is – but the work we do through the association and through you touches their lives. I strongly believe that only by coming together can we accomplish what’s before us. I am honored to lead this organization in service of our members, and I look forward to the coming years.

Cassie Sauer
WSHA Executive Vice President and incoming President and CEO


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