In my neighborhood, there are a few houses that still have carved pumpkins sitting next to their front doors, but there are also a few houses that have already wrapped themselves in lights and garland, eager for December and snow. Here we are in that November interlude, where our celebrations are more about the people we’re spending time with than the decorations on our porch. Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude, reflection, and celebration, and so here are some ways we can bring that spirit to our daily work.
Many hands make light work. Just as bringing together a Thanksgiving meal is a team effort, so is building a great health care system. Getting the table set, potatoes chopped, turkey basted, pies baked, and all the other check boxes checked off requires we come together and each contribute our skills and efforts. It is in this spirit of cooperation and collaboration, from our local communities to the state Capitol, that we can overcome our shared challenges.
The more, the merrier. Thanksgiving is a time of gathering and sharing. We invite everyone to the table and we all share equally in the feast. The varied voices bring new stories, spark new conversations, and add energy. So too, will our health systems change discussions benefit from inviting everyone to the table—the usual suspects, the unusual suspects, and those that disagree with us.
It’s important to get the basics right. Your pickled saffron carrots and white chocolate wasabi pie might be delicious, but they will hardly pardon your undercooked mashed potatoes and dry turkey. It is critical that we build a strong foundation for our health care system by concentrating on getting the fundamentals right. That being said…
There is great value in our different approaches. Thanksgiving traditions vary widely across families and regions (I had never heard of Green Bean Casserole until well into my twenties…now I can’t imagine Thanksgiving without it!), but there is no right and wrong way to celebrate. Similarly, we must learn to invite in new ideas and fresh perspectives to find the best solutions and reach our common goals.
Be grateful. In order for me to be sitting here writing this today, and for you to be reading it, several billion things have gone exactly right. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all these things and how fortunate we are, and to celebrate the wonderful parts of our lives. In our world of health systems change, it can be very easy to focus on all the ways the system is broken—now is a great time to pause and reflect on the many important ways it does work, and works very well.
We at CCMU are grateful for the countless friends, partners, supporters, and dedicated individuals we have around our state that are doing the hard work of moving Colorado’s health care system forward. We are grateful for the great progress we have made this year, and the hope of significant additional progress on the horizon. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we look forward to a bright future. Happy Thanksgiving.