From the CEO's Desk
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Section: Spotlight Articles, October 2016

(Excerped from the 2016 Annual Leadership Conference opening remarks.)

The Tennessee Primary Care Association held its 2016 Annual Leadership Conference in September. This year’s theme was "There’s No Place Like a Health Care Home." Here are some fun facts about our theme:

The line “There’s no place like home” was made famous in the film The Wizard of Oz. I’m sure all of us have seen this 1939 American film starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr. Let’s not forget the famous Terry the Dog, who was billed as Toto. The film was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost to Gone with the Wind. It was reintroduced in a broadcast television premier in 1956. As you probably recall, the film begins in sepia tone and, upon Dorothy landing in the Land of Oz, the film changes to vivid Technicolor. In the 1950s and 60s, this detail was lost to many families because they still owned black-and-white TVs. But eventually, as color TVs became affordable, more of us got to experience the fun of arriving in a surprisingly colorful Munchkinland.
I guess you could say that the moral of the Wizard of Oz story is that the main characters discover they have strengths that they did not know they had when the story began. As they faced difficult challenges, they each found within themselves just what they had been searching for. The Scarecrow discovers he is smart; the Lion finds his courage; and the Tin Man discover he has a loving heart. Even Dorothy learns that home is where she wants to be. She can make that happen by tapping her heels together three times, repeating “There’s no place like home.” In the song Tin Man, the 1970s rock band America includes the lyrics, “But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin man that he didn’t, didn’t already have,”
This belief that there is potential within people and communities to find what they are searching for is something that resonates with the health center story. Community Health Centers were founded on the belief that communities have within them the power to change and become healthier places. Through consumer representation on each board and assessing the needs of the community, these changes are occurring every day in Tennessee health centers. There truly is no place like a health care home.

At this conference, we celebrate being part of the larger Community Health Center family. Here are a few items of note:

  • 1,400 health center organizations nationwide.
  • 24 million patients served by health centers.
  • 1 in 13 people and 1 in 10 children are served by health centers.
  • Since 2008, there have been 295 new health center organizations and 1,100 new access points.
  • Throughout the country, health centers are leading in quality initiatives to become recognized as patient-centered medical homes. Also, more and more health centers are a part of a health center controlled network; in fact, 74 percent of health centers nationally participate in an HCCN. In Tennessee, the HCCN is our Center for Quality in Community Health operated through TPCA.

The Annual Leadership Conference provided opportunities to learn from great speakers as well as from colleagues. I hope that the conference left participants refreshed, with new ideas and inspiration. I challenge you to take the Wizard of Oz theme with you – and be smart, be brave, and display a loving heart.

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