At the beginning of every calendar year, like many people, I set a few goals that I hope to accomplish in the coming 12 months. This year my list looks like it does most years—exercise daily, dedicate more time to playing the guitar, and read a book a month. But this year I’ve added a new goal: commit to giving gratitude more frequently. One month in, I’ve implemented a nightly gratitude sharing session around the dinner table with my family. This practice has been powerful and has brought necessary attention to what I love and cherish about my wife and two kids. It has also reinforced my belief that we must pause and give thanks and praise where due, especially if we are to maintain perspective and momentum in our work to build a better world.
In that spirit, this month I’d like to give sincere gratitude to the members of Center for Health Progress’s Board of Directors. This group of volunteers has always been a veritable who’s who of health care leadership, and past members include many titans of Colorado’s health reform history. Currently, the Board of Directors includes fourteen individuals who are incredible leaders in the health care industry, including in community health, health policy, mental health treatment and access, quality improvement, philanthropy, and health law. It is their collective smarts and perspective that guides our organization’s strategic direction and ensures we’re being good stewards of our resources. I am grateful for their talent, guidance, tough questions, unabashed support, and incredible service.
The broader community is taking note of this group’s talents, as well. Two of our Board members recently received prestigious awards demonstrating their commitment and influence in our community. Maisha Fields, our board Secretary and executive director of the Fields Foundation, was recently named the Dr. Martin Luther King 2018 Humanitarian of the Year by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission. Harry Budisidharta, board member and CEO of the Asian Pacific Development Center, was named a 2018 Livingston Fellow by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and received a 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Award from the local business community.
As we undergo an evolution to a new generation of board leadership, there are board members that deserve a particular note of gratitude for their tireless commitment to this organization. We are eternally grateful to our long-term members who have recently termed off the Board of Directors, including Dr. Larry Kieft, David Dennis, Edie Sonn, Karen Cody Carlson, Tracy Johnson, Dr. Mark Earnest, and Brenda Morrison. And, three of our most important historical leaders, including Dr. Gary VanderArk, Sharon Adams, and Dr. Carl Clark, will be terming off in just a few short months. Over the past twenty years, these leaders and many others have helped grow Center for Health Progress from a group of dedicated volunteers to a leading health care advocacy organization with a staff of fourteen.
Importantly, gratitude goes beyond just acknowledging the good in other people to “recogniz[ing] how the positive things in our lives—like a success at work—are often due to forces outside of ourselves, particularly the efforts of other people.” To be sure, our Board of Directors has elevated our work to levels of success that simply wouldn’t have been possible without them. Each of them has also taught me a lot about how to be a non-profit executive director over the past three years. For this, and much more, I am truly grateful.