Reflecting On Past To Ensure Vibrant Future

Priority has been Creating Focus on Greater Purpose

It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since I joined the ThedaCare family. The community has embraced me and I’ve become the greatest proponent of everything this area has to offer including the people, values, culture and more.

To advance our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve, this last year has been one of transformation, centered on putting our patients first. One thing that has not changed at ThedaCare is the amazing people who do great work every day to make a difference in our patients’ lives.

As a leader, my priority has been to create focus on our greater purpose, starting with our legacy, mission and values. We have made decisions in order to expand access to expert care close to home. This provides peace of mind for our patients and excellent experiences for our caregivers, just as Theda Clark Peters envisioned more than 100 years ago when she endowed her estate to develop a community hospital.

Reflecting on this last year, there are countless moments that I’m proud of including:

  • Celebrating our legacy by recommitting to our existing hospitals.
  • Providing access to care for more than 10,000 new patients through Common Ground health insurance cooperative.
  • Offering convenient care at the new FastCare Clinic inside Meijer.
  • Expanding access to expert, local cancer care through the acquisition of Fox Valley Hematology & Oncology.

For our 6,700 team members, every day is an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Moments happen when we understand what is important to our patients and we treat our interactions with compassion. These can be as simple as calming an anxious child while giving a flu shot and as heroic as performing life-saving surgery. Recently, we treated a young mother experiencing complications during her last month of pregnancy. As an enduring expression of gratitude for the care she received, she named her healthy daughter April Theda. That’s a “moment”!

Looking to the future, I see the power of population health where proactive measures help prevent issues that cause a visit to the doctor’s office. It is lifestyle training, assessments and early detection that may call for more frequent visits with your physician, but lowers the total cost of care. Some may call this demand destruction; I call it the right thing to do.

There’s a story about a woman who planted daffodils, one bulb at a time, day after day. Her efforts, driven by a vision and daily progress, created a glorious site and destination for many, years after she was gone, very similar to Theda Clark Peters. I keep this story in mind as we set the future of ThedaCare. Legacy is about community. It is about reflecting on and honoring the past to ensure a vibrant future, even if we may not feel the direct outcomes of all our work today, we set the wheels in motion to making a lasting change for the betterment of the communities we are honored to serve.

 

Imran Andrabi, MD, is the president and chief executive officer of ThedaCare. He can be reached at askus@thedacare.org.