It’s good to be together again. After two years of video meetings and phone calls, being together is something we have craved as human beings. Our engagement as leaders and our teams’ engagement with patients, families and each other is heightened when we can be physically present. These connections are important for our health and well-being as we navigate the ongoing pandemic. Together, we are stronger.
As a community of children’s hospitals and health systems, we are also stronger when we are together. This spring, through CHA’s in-person meetings of affinity groups and our governance, we safely gathered to continue the work of our shared priorities: taking care of our people and improving the health of children.
Throughout the rest of the year, we will continue to leverage the power of being together, in person, to maximize our efforts. In July, more than 80 children’s hospital leaders and mental health experts visited Washington, D.C., to ask Congress and the Biden administration to increase funding for pediatric mental health programs, workforce and care. In addition, a national suicide prevention collaborative will launch in September and the Behavioral Health Summit will be held in October.
In November, we look forward to gathering for the Annual Leadership Conference (ALC). We will discuss behavioral health, as well as other strategic priorities we share as leaders. The aim is to make progress locally, within our hospitals and communities, and nationally as a community of children’s hospitals and health systems.
These opportunities will help us advance important advocacy, learning and improvement initiatives focused on the mental and behavioral health of children and youth; the health and future of our workforce and our hospitals and systems; and the quality of care provided to children and families. As we work on these and tackle other challenges, known and unknown, we will broaden our focus on quality, including equity, and use comparative data and analytics in new ways.
And, while being together is a priority, we will continue to leverage virtual technology—when it makes sense—to enable broader participation in these efforts and strengthen our collective understanding and voice.
Don’t underestimate the power of being together—it elevates our attitudes and our impact.