Message from the President

Back to the Future

by Loren B. Hamel, MD - President, Spectrum Health Lakeland | Jan 14, 2020

Recently, I celebrated the new year with my father who is now more than 100 years old. It made me start to think about somebody who’s already lived through the ‘20s—100 years ago. That was an important decade in this country with a lot of change, some exciting and some difficult. We don’t know what’s in store for this next decade of the ‘20s, but I predict that it’s going to be just as exciting.

The need for great care and great caregivers is only going to increase. We need folks who are relentlessly curious, who are collaborative, who are always courageous, and who demonstrate heartfelt compassion toward everyone, everywhere. In fact, the need has never been greater.

Over the last decade, we’ve been working hard on a number of things including our heartfelt journey of personalizing health care, digitalization, RFID, and several different partnerships. And one of our big goals with all of those efforts is to add value.

In the last decade, it’s been an unbelievable and interesting health care ride, including all of the events around the Affordable Care Act. This has also been the decade where we launched EPIC and went through a number of integrations. And of course, at the end of the decade, we integrated with Spectrum Health, one of our biggest efforts yet.

What a journey we’ve been on together! Health care is continuously transforming, and we’re transforming right along with it. That transformation is necessary. It’s effective. And it can also be a little scary. All those things are part of the journey we’re on, but when we focus on improving health, inspiring hope, and saving lives, it all becomes worth it. It becomes meaningful. It’s what gets me up in the morning, and I hope it’s what gets you up in the morning too.

As we embark on a new year and a new decade, it’s a good time to refocus on our own “why.” When we put the patient at the center of everything we do, it becomes a much less stressful future and a more hopeful future. It becomes much less about wondering what’s going to happen. These are normal ways to think and feel. But when we put the patient at the center, we tend to do the right thing for the right reasons and get results.

We’ve succeeded in doing that over last decade and we’re going to continue.

It’s amazing to be on this journey with all of you. And it’s simply impossible to carry out our mission, our vision, and our values unless we all get up in the morning caring about what’s important.

Looking ahead, we know we have work to do to make care more personalized but also more personal and more simple, affordable, and exceptional. All the other things that go along with that—like metrics, budget, and processes that we need as a large, complex organization—are important. But we must never lose sight of the centerpiece of why we do what we do: it’s for our patients. It’s to improve health, inspire hope, and save lives.

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© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2020