Our pacific northwest is headed into the “big dark,” which somehow always catches me off-guard. As we transition, many use this time for introspection – indoor time to look inside ourselves and thank those who fill our lives. I appreciate November’s time of giving thanks and want to spend this blog as an opportunity to call out and lift up the dedicated volunteers who make the Foundation for Health Care Quality’s work possible.
As we practice reflection this November, I want to acknowledge that we are speaking from the land of the Coast Salish and Duwamish peoples. I acknowledge that the history that has led us all here today has lifted some of our ancestors up while holding others down, often through violence and very often along racialized lines. Our job within our systems now is to confront and learn from the past and work to co-create an equitable future by using the tools that we have. Within the FHCQ, we have the power to convene, actionable clinical data, trust of the broader health care ecosystem, and the bright minds and willing hearts of our volunteers. We must move from acknowledgement to action, embedding the idea of high-quality, equitable care for all population groups, especially those who have experienced historic injustice.
A dedication to population health and quality care across our region drives so many of our volunteers to spend time at our tables. I give thanks to our FHCQ board who provide broad oversight to our mission, vision, and values; the cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, interventionalists, patients, administrators, and others who are part of the Cardiac COAP management committee; the OB/GYNs, family medicine, midwives, patients, and others who are part of the Obstetrical COAP Management Committee, the Community Birth Data Registry leadership, and Smooth Transitions leadership; the neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, anesthesiologists, bariatric surgeons, colorectal surgeons, and others who are part of the Spine COAP Management Committee and Surgical COAP Management Committee; the clinicians, delivery system and health plan representatives, and others who make up the Bree Collaborative; and the dedicated patient safety collaborators who make up the Patient Safety Coalition.
I want to end with gratitude to two people who have contributed immensely to improving our health care ecosystem: Rick Rubin who will be stepping down as our FHCQ board chair and Dr. Hugh Straley who has stepped down as the chair of the Bree Collaborative. As Margaret Mead has famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”