Happy Friday, Happy Payday, and Happy Labor Day weekend!
As we celebrate the contributions of American workers this weekend, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your work on behalf of the Medical Center.
You give us the best hours of your day - your personal prime time - and I never take that for granted.
As I make my rounds, I meet so many of you who are doing your job, doing it well, and wouldn't think of giving anything less than your best. You are the quiet leaders who set the standard not only for our patients and students but for your colleagues around you.
I was reminded of this by a comment - I'll call it a thank you note - that an employee sent to my VC Notes inbox this week:
My nephew was recently misdiagnosed at a hospital in another state and sent by ambulance to UMMC at 2 a.m. Once here, my sister-in-law said that all tests were done and everything was normal; nothing was wrong with him. She said that everyone was very sweet and caring. They let them stay in a room and get some sleep until my brother was able to come pick them up. My mom was worried and trying to call, but my sister-in-law's phone was dead. I gave her the number to the hospital and they were very sweet to her and able to get her through to my sister-in-law. No words can explain how much I truly appreciate everyone who had a hand in this situation at UMMC. We never realize whose life we will touch with what we do. Not only are we making a healthier Mississippi, but other states as well.
To me these comments say so much about who we are, how we take care of people beyond just their medical needs - from the peds ED, to the Children's floors, to the hospital operators. And I know the same would be true for any unit in our hospitals. We treat our patients like family, and in this case, it was indeed family.
As we begin the third month of our fiscal year, 2016-17 is shaping up to be a challenging one. Expenses have crept up and our revenues have not kept pace. Our state appropriation, which we commit to our education mission, may undergo further cuts during the year as tax revenues continue to fall short of projections.
You will see some signs of belt-tightening. We will be looking for savings in the way we conduct business and we will be saying “no” to otherwise good proposals that aren't supported by new revenues. You will hear me say more about this in the months ahead.
Even as we deal with these peaks and valleys that are the new normal in our industry, I have every confidence that we will manage our way through this. The foundation of my confidence comes from what's conveyed in the thank you note above. As long as we continue to treat our patients the way we would treat our own family, as long as we keep caring, we can meet any challenge that comes our way.
So on this Labor Day weekend, I salute our workforce, and especially the quiet leaders who keep giving us their best, and would never dream of doing anything less. You define our caring spirit, as we make our way toward A Healthier Mississippi.