Archive for October, 2009
From DIAMOND to Denver, a week of transition, was written while sitting in a hotel room in Colorado, pondering the potential future paths in my personal and professional journey to support the transition in health care. It’s now two weeks later and I’m sitting in a hotel room in San Diego, looking back at those blog comments, and realizing one thing–I must stop writing in hotel rooms, they seem to have a strange effect on my thought processes.
It is very hot in Botswana and when taking a two-hour walk over sand in the Okavango Delta, my face got really sunburned.
China has a growing presence in this part of Africa. The SinoHydro Company is the main contractor on the new airport terminal being built in time for the big upcoming soccer tournament. At the National Museum down the street from where I am staying in Gaborone, there is a huge Chinese exhibit extolling their free and fair elections, their religious freedom, and their friendship with Africa.
You know, this is hard. I mean blogging and being able to sound intelligent, pithy, “cutting edge” and articulate–and doing it weekly. At least it is for me, and that’s surprising. Why? Anyone who knows me is well aware of that I have an infinite number of ideas, am totally willing to share them, and can articulate at length (yes, I know, too much length) on a huge number of topics.
ICSI has just launched a strategic initiative on palliative care, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. My Dad is 94 and takes care of my semi-invalid 87-year-old mother in a small house south of the Twin Cities across the road from where Dad lived and farmed for most of his life. Don’t tell me they should be in assisted living or at least in a seniors’ apartment—that issue has been raised more often than the American flag, and taken down, folded and put away just as often. My Dad says he’s going to live to be 100 and I’m not going to argue with a man who spent four years in World War II and taught half his unit how to box.
I was surprised this morning when I took my shower in my South Minneapolis basement apartment on Portland Avenue. The shower which is usually lazy and dribbly at best raged forth and hit the other wall of the shower stall. It is true that I had sent the landlady an e-mail noting that the shower was rather anemic, but I was shocked that she really had somebody fix it.
In past posts, I’ve spoken of the DIAMOND program for patients with depression, collaborative care, and moving from ideas to invention to innovation, as issues and efforts which have become a part of my world. This week, I was humbled by several events which have caused me to ponder, and personally reflect. First, I’ve not felt well. If I was a betting man, I’d suspect I’ve had the opportunity to experience the wonders of H1N1, or if not, something equally nasty. But as I struggled through a haze of Ibuprofen-induced comfort, it was also a week of excitement, advancement, new relationships, and potential support for the important work of ICSI and others in the health care environment.
I will be part of a panel discussion on health care reform this week at Hamline University in the Twin Cities. Part of my assignment is to outline the problems in the American health care system that reform needs to address.
After much thought and procrastination, I came up with challenges in eight different areas: cost, quality, health insurance, uninsured people, medical malpractice, payment system, manpower, and complexity of medical knowledge.