Friday, March 6, 2015

Journey Begins

Published in VC's Notes on March 06, 2015

The Journey Begins

I want to thank you for all the many expressions of support I've received over these last months as I have been first a vice chancellor candidate, then the appointee and, since Monday, the new vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the medical school. Honestly, I have been overwhelmed at times and deeply humbled. 

I want to express my gratitude to the many mentors I have been fortunate to have along the path.  Starting with my professors in medical school almost thirty years ago and of course most recently, Dr. Dan Jones and Dr. Jimmy Keeton. These last six years, Dr. Keeton has allowed me to be directly involved in leadership to a degree that few chief executives would ever consider.  It's because of these experiences that I feel fully prepared to take on this role, and for that I'll be forever grateful to him.

One of the top things on my “to do” list is to do a better job communicating with you.  In that spirit, this is the first in a series of weekly columns that we will distribute every Friday morning.  In them, I'll talk about one of the many issues we happen to be focused on at the time.  There's a lot to choose from!  Not only do we need to perform our daily jobs with commitment and excellence, we also must adapt to our constantly changing environment in order to thrive.  And those changes are coming at us fast!  That's why our newly adopted strategic plan is so important.  If you're not familiar with our plan, I encourage you to review it at:  http://www.umc.edu/Strategic_Plan.aspx

My intent is for these weekly memos to be a venue for two-way communication.  I am soliciting your questions and comments.  We've created a web page where you can share your thoughts, ideas and questions with me.  In submitting the form, you're email address is not recorded, so you can remain anonymous if you wish.  But you're also free to identify yourself.  You can find the submission form at:  www.umc.edu/askthevc

So we're off!  The road ahead awaits.  We're going to work hard, we're going to have fun, and we're going to learn an awful lot together.  Working as a team, instead of as a collection of individuals, I know we'll be unstoppable.  And every day, we will get closer to our vision for A Healthier Mississippi.



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