This past week, my family and I had a chance to spend some time with Aron Ralston when he came to town.
Now, your first response might be, “Who?”
But he is one of the most famous survivors in U.S. history because he was the young man who had to cut off his own arm with a butter knife, after 127 hours pinned deep in a Utah cavern, with no chance of ever being found! I remember like yesterday when the national news broke back in 2003 because it just made all of us think, “What? Could I? That is crazy!” Some questioned the story, but it was the absolute truth!
Why do all great things have to come to end? That was my thought this past year as a recurring quiet reflection because Linda and I never really wanted to talk about it. It made our last full-time year together hard for both of us because our eyes always watered up and we would try to find something easier to talk about knowing it was around the corner.
I heard about the famed incubator named 1871 two dozen times over the past five years, but to work a full day at the location makes you rethink everything about organizational culture. We might have iHub in Louisville, but this is the real deal.
Recently, I accepted a Board of Directors role with one of the hottest healthcare startups anywhere in the U.S. The company, Caremerge, has won many awards and gained brand notoriety as a great example of the future of open-source, cloud-based, nimble startups. They have one of the first patient-engagement, care-coordination, cloud-based HIPAA solutions that is taking off very quickly.
This year was different in many ways. Personally, I remember being in high school three decades ago and stopping by Klondike Manor as a volunteer on a Thanksgiving holiday just to make sure no one was alone on that painful day for our elders. But now my kids really have this down.
First, they were up early making homemade cards led by Jackie, my creative daughter. She developed an assembly card production system with Luke drawing a pretty rough turkey, Ava telling them she loved them in pencil, our au pair, Victor, adding standard greetings, and me adding pictures of crosses and football pictures – these were no masterpieces, but we made a hundred in a few hours and off we went.
This morning we are heading to “celebrate the life” of two of Signature’s most accomplished and patient leaders who passed away last week within 24 hours of each other. These moments are challenging because my mind drifts to three emotional themes – What is personal legacy really about? Why do we grieve so hard when we know where they are both headed? How do you replace two of the best peers that you have ever worked with?
We drew a bigger crowd when Lee Cockerell came to give us a soft talk about how Disney customer service can transform your healthcare organization, which really ended up being more about marriage and wellness advice, than when one of the preeminent and most respected healthcare policy and medical pioneers in the country, Dr. Thomas Lee, came to town late last week.
Dr. Lee was a great selection by the Health Enterprises Network because he helped created ‘Romneycare,’ making Massachusetts the first state in the U.S. with a universal health insurance program. Dr. Lee, along with the famed Michael Porter, also just co-authored the largest-ever Harvard Business Review article on transforming healthcare to a more patient-centered, value-driven model – a ‘must read’ for all HC organizational leaders. He designed change, lived through it, and now wants to help you change your mental modes.
Every year, Signature has its annual Senior Olympics at the home office with centers coming from three to four hours away to compete for individual and team medals, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger…
I promise, if you can make it out, our opening ceremonies would rival any Olympics with each facility picking battle themes, a fight song and thematic uniforms. A panel of celebrity judges, headed by our one three-timer Bellarmine University men’s basketball coach Scott Davenport, rate their opening acts based upon team spirit, artistic banners and team energy.