Health care is a human business. Despite the growing sophistication and importance of technology in the assessment and treatment of patients, at its core, health care is about people caring for other people, and in our case, caring for kids.
Kids are and always will be our priority. As children’s hospitals, it’s impossible to talk about this priority without talking about the people who make it happen every day—clinical and non-clinical, front line and back of house, long tenured and new faces. There are two sides to our priority coin.
The events of the past two years—the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the unrest following the murder of George Floyd, and political strife—have affected all of us personally and professionally. For us, as leaders of children’s hospitals, both sides of the coin—our people and our patients—require our focus as we enter 2022. Through Children’s Hospital Association, we expect to advocate, share and learn from each other and explore new methods to support our people and to improve the health of kids.
Advocacy. Our federal priorities include growing access, capacity (people and programs) and reimbursement for children’s behavioral health care in hospitals and communities; ensuring children’s hospitals can maintain their clinical, research and teaching missions; and increasing funding for children’s hospitals’ graduate medical education.
Education. We’ll continue to leverage virtual participation opportunities in affinity groups, workshops, conferences and webinars to complement a return to in-person learning. We expect a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, behavioral health, and the resiliency and wellness of caregivers and team members.
Improvement. Behavioral health is a theme across all CHA efforts, and we’ll share comparative information about behavioral health programs across children’s hospitals and organize learning collaboratives in areas members prioritized. We’ll also refocus our core quality and data work, engaging hospitals in clinical and operative improvement areas based on their needs, leveraging clinical effectiveness and improvement science to improve outcomes for children.
We’ll take this on with a keen awareness to care for each other and our people. The Board of Trustees and I are eager to connect with each of you, and my plan is to cross paths with as many of you as possible. Together, we have more energy, more wisdom and more grace.