Last month in Austin, during my opening comments I shared a Muhammed Ali quote about service to others. It was in the context of Hurricane Harvey and Irma but also the 30 year history of the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo. As I begin to write this column we are just beginning to digest the news out of Las Vegas. It all seems too much. We have barely had time to mourn, process or comprehend Charlottesville before it was Houston and then Florida then Puerto Rico then Las Vegas and then the California Wildfires.
Marika Shioiri-Clark kicked off our event right after my opening comments and talked to us about the projects she is involved in globally to help the underserved gain access to healthcare. On the second day Stacey Chang shared with us the bold effort coming out of Central Texas at the Design Institute. This joint collaboration between the College of Fine Arts and the new Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, was founded to apply new creative approaches to age-old system issues, and is developing new health capabilities in clinical environments, in the community, and in educational curriculums. I have heard overwhelmingly from attendees about how inspiring and uplifting both these keynotes were and how positive their messages are very needed in today’s world.
Since 2006 we have held a raffle at our event to support healthcare organizations ranging from small community hospitals to mental health advocates. Our attendees and sponsors generosity has allowed us to make over $120,000 in donations. It is a remarkable feat to see the amount of money we raise in a single day each year. This is one of the many things that make our event different.
It is very easy to become overwhelmed by all the tragedy surrounding us in the world today. However, as we have seen time and time again the best of humanity is often brought out during these terrible events. It may take a little more effort to weed through the 24/7 news reports to hear about the Marika and Stacey’s of the world. And our annual raffle doesn’t get national press coverage but these are the things that keep me hopeful. Everyone knows the old adage that it is better to give than to receive. Recently there was an article in the NY Times offering scientific evidence to support that theory and I encourage you to read about it here.
As we head into the holiday season and the world continues to be a very trying place, I hope that you all find ways in your lives to help those that need it most. Those small acts will add up. It will help you feel better. And remember as the great Muhammed Ali said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo
P.S. Have a thought about the Symposium? Please feel free to contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.