Archive for July, 2008

A Mustard Seed in Mendocino County
—Posted Thursday, July 31st, 2008 at 1:35 pm— « »

Last night, I attended a meeting of the group that calls themselves “A Mustard Seed in Mendocino County.” The group, which was the brainstorm of Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC) CEO Terry Burns, is a marvelous collection of leaders (mostly of public agencies and entities) in Mendocino County. Some of the organizations that are represented include County Public Health and Mental Health Services, Mendocino College, Ukiah Public School System, private enterprises such as a local bank, UVMC, Howard Memorial Hospital of Willits, Medical Society of Mendocino and Lake Counties, Mendocino Coast Clinic and more.

The concept that the group is working on is that in times of financial crisis (the State of California budget with a 17 billion dollar deficit certainly qualifies as a financial crisis) that public and private entities working together can stretch limited dollars further. The goals of the group include elimination of costly duplication (when possible) and maximizing savings by collaborating and sharing resources. I am proud that our public and private leadership in Mendocino County is working together in order to maintain essential services during this time of crisis. As the name “mustard seed” implies, hopefully other counties, cities and possibly even the State of California can learn from this example.

Leadership Summit 2008
—Posted Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 at 6:31 pm— « »

I have just returned from attending the 16th Annual Health Forum/ AHA Leadership Summit Meeting in San Diego, CA. This meeting always seems to bring in some of the brightest and most insightful speakers, not only in health care but also in the United States. This year was no exception.

The conference kicked off with CBS News Washington Correspondent, Bob Schieffer who spoke of his experiences in Washington, D.C. The entertaining duo of James Carville and Mary Matalin were also on the stage. But, perhaps my favorite speaker of this year’s summit was Dr. Atul Gawande. Dr. Gawande, who looks younger than his age of 43, has written 2 books “Complications – A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science,” and “Better – A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance.” I found him to be an inspiring leader and a change agent who has an important message on how we can improve the quality of medical care in the United States using some simple techniquest that apply to hospitals of any size. I purchased the 2 books and I can hardly wait to read them both.

Conferences such as the Leadership Summit are an excellent way to re-energize one’s self in one’s profession and to learn from some of the best minds in our Nation. I hope that I will be able to apply, just a fraction, of the great information that I received last week in San Diego.