This week’s guest blogger is Herb Kuhn, President and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association. In a future blog I’ll provide information on the benefit GVMH, and all hospitals across the state, receive from MHA. Without further ado, I present to you “Coach” Herb Kuhn.
Let me start with a word of thanks to Craig for the opportunity to offer a few thoughts here. I write a weekly column for our MHA Today newsletter and know how difficult it can be to keep a column interesting, relevant and human. This blog does a great job on all counts.
On Monday, Craig posted my “Insights” column about hospitals’ incredible response to the recent snowstorms. Let me reiterate, I am proud of what the hospital community does — especially in difficult times. Craig’s earlier posts indicate your caregivers, support staff and administration were working tirelessly to provide care for the community during the storms. You deserve to take a victory lap for your efforts.
On the subject of victory laps — we need to take more of them. I’m not one who is prone to making sports analogies. However, in this case, I think it is insightful.
Sunday was the Super Bowl. (Spoiler alert: The Packers won.) Green Bay, Wis., the home of the Green Bay Packers, is the smallest metropolitan area to host an NFL franchise. And, having a pro sports franchise is a big deal. In fact, many major population centers aren’t considered “real” unless they have a sports franchise.
If you are asking yourself what this has to do with hospitals, let me be more direct — having a hospital in your community puts you on the map. And, like pro sports, having a hospital in your community is vital to local prestige and economic activity.
This year, MHA has been spending a significant amount of time and energy talking with legislators and civic leaders about the importance of hospitals’ investments. We’ve prepared a discussion guide for each hospital; the guide for Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare is available here.
Unlike a pro sports team, hospitals have a very real impact every day. However, rather than focusing on our economic contribution, we generally focus on talking about medical miracles and the strong bond between caregivers and patients. These are important and intimate ways we connect with our communities. In many ways, however, the big story is that hospitals are community- sustaining institutions. They support jobs in health care, but they also support significant economic activity at local businesses and countless jobs in nonhealth care professions.
The truth is that hospitals are the equivalent of sports franchises in small and large communities throughout the state. Patients and community leaders don’t wear “Golden Valley” jerseys or set up grills in your parking lots. But, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t rooting for you. Ask a member of the community where they go for care, and you’ll probably hear “my hospital is …” That’s a powerful statement.
Strong communities need strong hospitals. And, every day is game day.
You make a difference in your community. Be sure to take that victory lap.