When CEOs who are new to Washington State first come to a WSHA meeting or event, it’s not unusual for them to say, “This is kind of a weird association.”
The weirdness they point to is that our members come together in true partnership to solve health care issues and lead transformation. They are surprised that even competitors are willing to share what they learn about improving patient safety, and to pull together to increase patients’ access to health insurance and mental health services. After they’ve been here about six months, “This is weird” turns into “This is the best association I’ve ever been a part of!”
I came to WSHA 15 years ago and continue to be amazed at all we can accomplish together. Our work is challenging, rewarding and delivers clear results. Our mission is to support our members to be able to provide the best care possible. It’s our job to lead to put policy and quality structures in place so hospitals and health systems across the state can deliver outstanding care to their communities.
And we have had many successes. Covering kids is one of my particular passions, and Washington State has one of the lowest rate of uninsured children in the country. In recent years, we have also enrolled 500,000 adults who now have the peace of mind that they can get needed care. Our telemedicine law will help people get care in their communities – another issue I feel strongly about. My dad has Parkinson’s disease, and for people with his condition, not having to travel for care is an enormous blessing. All of us see the benefits of our work when we or someone we love is in a hospital for a joyful or a scary situation.
WSHA does great work, but there are things we can do even better. We continue to find ways to work more efficiently and deliver better results. We are developing our legislative agenda much further in advance and garnering support for it from other partners. Our patient safety work is truly transformative, and we continue to put challenges to members for improvement. We are making progress on mental health, but we need to keep the pressure on. It’s our collective responsibility to put structures in place to tackle racial disparities in health care.
I feel enormously fortunate to work with a team of incredibly smart and dedicated staff representing incredibly smart and dedicated members. Thank you for this opportunity.
Executive Vice President