Since we just celebrated Christmas and the arrival of 2008, it seems appropriate for us to once again reflect on the blessings the previous year brought. Based on recent conversations with CHRISTUS Associates and physicians, I believe that one of the blessings they hold dear is the opportunity to be a member of the health care profession, particularly part of the CHRISTUS Health family.
I am not surprised about these responses, for I have always believed that those of us who work in health care are a part of the “privileged few” who live in the world today. Whether we work at the bedside delivering hands-on care to our patients, prepare medical records, clean our facilities, process bills, or park cars, we all have the honor and privilege of working in what I have always referred to as a “sacred profession” because we are given an awesome responsibility by our patients who walk through our doors each day, trusting us enough to put their loved ones in our hands. That is why I never believed that excellence in health care is a luxury, but rather a necessity, delivered consistently and predictably to each and everyone who enters any CHRISTUS Health door in the U.S. and Mexico!
The true blessing emanates from the knowledge that at the end of each day, week, year and lifetime, we can pause and know we have made at least one life easier because we have touched them in some way, whether directly or indirectly. We are not doing work in health care, but rather laboring in a profession that often gives back more than we give it. The values necessary to work in health care are identical to the ones we each should have as individuals. Ultimately, the health care profession gives us the ability to meld our personal and professional lives because both need to be driven by the Golden Rule, which is somehow expressed in all religions and supported by even “non-spiritual” individuals—do unto others as you want them to do to you!
A significant question for all as we travel on life’s journey is, “What will our legacy be? What will we be remembered for?” Yes, our greatest blessing in health care everywhere is that our legacy is clear—we have helped others in need!
May the New Year bring to each of you, your families and loved ones a blessed and happy year. And may our world leaders continue work to find peaceful solutions for our conflicts.