A Fresh Eyes look at our Community

I had to physically move to the Fox Valley in June in order to fully understand what an outstanding community we have here. After 26 years at Mercy Health in Ohio, first as an intern and medical resident, and eventually a system leader for the Toledo region, this was a major change for me and my family. In my first three months as ThedaCare president and CEO, I’ve found the people phenomenally kind; the business and manufacturing environment second to none; and the schools and arts communities, dynamic and engaged. And I simply don’t have words for the airport in Appleton — four airlines, full flights coming in and going out, and it is so easy to navigate! Kudos to the visionaries who helped build all that we have. But should it take fresh eyes to appreciate it?

I propose that gratitude, beyond its inherent spiritual value, is a tool for community development. You can’t discover a comfortable place, kind person, or authentic Wisconsin fish fry and not want to tell others about your good fortune. But have you? Have you told others about the Fox Cities?

Organizations succeed when their customers become advocates. These people not only contemplate their experience, they take the extra step to advocate on behalf of the organization that exceeded their expectations. Recruiting talent to this place, my new home, is not only a business necessity for ThedaCare, it has become my personal goal to share with others what I am discovering each new day.

Some of the best recruiting materials I’ve seen thus far are video shorts produced by NEW North, the northeast Wisconsin regional economic development consortium that is itself a work of cooperative genius. My goal is to bring friends, family, and colleagues to see “what 1.5 million people in Northeast Wisconsin are already experiencing,” as the online video concludes. If you happen to be one of the 1.5 million people who got here before me, you are indeed lucky.

Dr. Imran Andrabi is president and CEO of ThedaCare. To contact him, you can email askus@thedacare.org