We have all been watching with wonder and amazement as the Baltimore Orioles have been ignoring recent history, salary inequities between teams, and the pundits as they just keep on winning. As of Friday morning, the team shares first place in the American League East. Unlike in recent seasons when they had no hope in September of making the playoffs, the O’s are right in the thick of things. How are they doing it? What is making this season different?
Well, I think it starts with leadership. I am a big fan of Buck Showalter. Buck came to town and did not focus on the past or the team’s problems. He immediately got in action with a plan to make things better. He has methodically built the team. It is true that there have been some great additions, but I am more impressed with his support for and encouragement of the players that he found. He is a great teacher. Buck has taken his men and gotten them to believe in themselves. He has laid out the plan and has not gotten too upset with setbacks. Have you seen the look on his face at the end of recent tough games that the Orioles have won? It is the look of a proud father as he is watching his offspring celebrate.
Margaret Mead, the famous anthropologist, is quoted as having said: “Do not doubt that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has”.
Those of us toiling in our dysfunctional healthcare system should reflect regularly on these words. This may in fact be the mantra of Buck and the Birds, too. We in healthcare need to stop looking for the savior and get in action to redesign the system and get to the outcome we want, just like the Orioles have.
My hat is off to the Orioles and I am very proud of all that my GBMC colleagues are doing to get to the outcome we want … our vision of a system that gets everyone better health with better care at lower cost with more joy for those providing the care. People ask me if we will join a bigger company. I have begun to respond that they should not doubt that our small company could change the healthcare world. Margaret Mead knew that we could and Buck and his O’s are showing us the way.
A New Leader in Towson
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Maravene Loeschke as she is inaugurated as the 13th President of Towson University. I am proud to represent GBMC at the celebration. DR. Loeschke is the university’s first alumna president since 1947. Originally from Baltimore, she graduated from then-Towson State College in 1969 and again in 1971. She became a theatre instructor in 1970 and spent three decades with Towson, rising through the ranks to become dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Following academic leadership positions at several other campuses, Dr. Loeschke is coming home to Towson, and I look forward to working together on issues of joint importance.
Finally, I had the opportunity recently to meet with several graduate nursing students from Morgan State University. In a very nice thank you note, the students thanked me and noted they appreciated meeting with a hospital CEO. “Your expertise and knowledge is a great asset our quest to further our education,” their note said. It was time well spent for me also, to connect with some of the region’s future healthcare leaders.