As I reflect upon America’s current societal issues and watch local, state, and federal efforts struggle to address them, I am encouraged and concerned. If you have been reading my reflections and posts over the years, you know I believe that everything rises or falls on leadership. How will healthcare leaders meet this critical moment in our nation’s history? There is a cry for scalable, authentic behavioral and primary healthcare solutions.
Leaders must have high emotional intelligence (EQ) and IQ in today’s complex healthcare environment. Characteristics needed for effective leadership are integrity, compassion, vision, the ability to build cross-functional teams, and effective communication skills. Leaders must also understand internal and external federal, state, and local political dynamics. They must understand special interest groups, the role of regulatory bodies, and budgets. And leaders must respect and value the people they are called to serve, especially the vulnerable and marginalized.
I believe all levels of government should be committed to reducing health disparities. I also believe managed care organizations, providers, health systems, and nonprofits should be responsible for helping states reduce health disparities. However, the question is, how do they build scalable solutions that work across race, class, political ideology, staff shortages, trust issues, technological challenges, and the plethora of adverse social determinants of health?
I know our nation is divided. I understand our state is, too. But how do we reduce the divisions and focus on what unites us? During and after every major tragedy, we generally unite around assisting those in need. We focus. We must now focus on the words in our nation’s and state’s most precious governing documents. We must focus on being one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, justice, and, yes, jobs, housing, food, good schools, and quality health care for all.
~ Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, Executive Director