This is a guest post by Dr. Gary VanderArk, CCMU’s board president and founder. A retired neurosurgeon, he now teaches at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He has spent his career as a relentless crusader for the medically underserved and firmly believes in equity for all in health care.
One of the most important things any of us can do is express gratitude. I try to make it a daily habit, but sometimes I appreciate a reminder. For me, our annual luncheon is always a good reminder that it is once again time to say, “Thank you.”
For those of you who were able to join us on September 24, thank you for attending. For the wonderful sponsors that gave their support to the event, thank you for partnering with us. Thank you to the Denver Art Museum for lending us your beautiful space and providing a healthy and tasty lunch. We are so grateful for the excellent speaker and the beautiful day we had. Thank you to our staff for all the hard work they put into making this year’s luncheon so great. And, most of all, thank you for the generosity of your donations that will allow CCMU to continue its important work.
CCMU has much for which we are thankful. We’ve been operating since 1997 and have seen many changes to Colorado’s health care system. We’re glad to have been able to work alongside so many dedicated leaders that believe in a better future for our state. On behalf of CCMU’s board of directors, we’re thankful for the incredible leadership of this organization, the successful transition it has undergone this year, and the growth of the staff that will allow us to do even more in 2016.
As we approach the New Year, we have even more to be thankful for. Good things are happening all over Colorado. According to 2015 Colorado Health Access Survey and American Community Survey data, between 6.7 and 10.3% of Coloradans remain uninsured, respectively. We’re thankful for the dramatic increase in number of patients covered by Medicaid and private insurance. We’re excited that new initiatives like integrated care and health equity are gaining traction. Personally, I’m also thankful for our beautiful fall weather, the spectacular colors that surround us, and a healthy new great-grandbaby!
I recently stopped in at Doctors Care while out for a bike ride. As I was walking down the hall, a staff person called me into her office to meet a new volunteer. The volunteer was a nurse who had worked at Porter Memorial Hospital for 40 years. She said, “Oh, I know Dr. VanderArk. He is the doctor who always said, ‘Thank You’.” YES. That’s exactly how I would like to be remembered. THANK YOU!