Good morning! I’d like to start by saying thank you to QA Business Solutions and the KCHP MSHP Spring Meeting planning committee for putting together another amazing meeting. The way these groups have adapted the way we present educational content has been exciting to watch. We have accomplished a lot despite the hardships endured during this pandemic and I just want to give my sincerest thank you to everyone involved with both our organizations. For those who may not know me here is a bit of background on my story! I’m originally from Florida where I attended the University of Florida for pharmacy school and then completed a PGY-1 residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami and then had the great fortune of matching at Wesley Medical Center (WMC) for their PGY-2 in critical care position where I now serve as an emergency medicine pharmacist and residency program director for critical care. The irony of trading in board shorts and flip flops for snow boots and winter jackets is not lost on me but I promise I’m not mad (completely). Taking a job after residency with WMC truly inspired me due to the patients I was able to serve and the people I work with daily.
When thinking of what to write or communicate during this speech I must admit that I have been at a loss of words (which is unique for me). Like Carolyn, I too began reading past speeches and as she eloquently stated last year many of the speech’s themes applied not only to KCHP but too myself. I hesitate to speak about the pandemic and the tolls it has had on each and every one of us and our organization. But I must. It is now the world we live in and adapt to its realities daily. We have been pushed to every limit possible over the past 24 months and I know we have all grown tired, and with so many asking the world of you I know I have no right to ask for something at all but I will for just one thing in this upcoming year. If you’re listening or reading this speech now it means that you are going above what it is expected of not just yourself but for the patients, community, and organizations we serve. So, what is it that I ask of you today? It’s this. Inspire one person this year. Not an entire organization, nor department, but just one person. I think about my goals heading into this year and what I hope to accomplish for KCHP, our members, and community and one core element I keep coming back to is rebuilding. Rebuilding a stronger organization, community, and state. An organization that continues to be leaders within our community through advocacy and education all the while promoting diversity and compassion. Brick by brick. One at a time. Inspire one person this year. That is how we will rebuild and that is how we will work towards a stronger KCHP.
I began thinking of examples of how you all inspired me this year and what I think we can continue to focus and grow on as KCHP members and with so many to list it was tough narrowing them down. I am so proud of the work we have done this past year with our advocacy efforts. Seeing a collective group come together to ensure the safety of the patients of the state of Kansas was inspiring. Being one of the first state pharmacy organizations to hold a meeting to identify ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the way that we recruit, hire, manage, interact, and with our colleagues, residents, patients, whoever the discussions we had this October were tremendous and I’m looking forward to explore all the ways we can continue to expand our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion into our daily lives as well as how to implement into our great organization.
One way I hope to begin building back to our pre COVID lives is the prospect of in person meetings again! Inspiration can be difficult through a Zoom or WebEx call and while there are certainly advantages there’s also hindrance. The way technology brings us together can be great but it is no substitute for a friendly smile, handshake, and the ability to break bread together and reflect on all we have been able to accomplish through these trying times. We as an organization can continue to work on becoming as efficient as possible while also meeting the human connection needs of our member base. Balancing in person with virtual opportunities seems like an obtainable goal to strive towards in the next year.
I am so honored to be giving this speech right now as your KCHP President and will continue to work towards our rebuild. The adversity we faced over the past 24 months were more than challenging but now I believe those tests can be used as steppingstones and bricks to mold us into the organization that continues to inspire those around us. This year will not be without adversity, and I am not promising that this pandemic won’t continue to plague our lives and organization, but what I can say that is you as a KCHP member are not alone. We have the bricks, knowledge, and passion to continue to build back our great organization. In the most dire of times if we look there are so many remarkable people within our membership that provide inspiration. So again, I leave you with the message of rebuilding and inspiration. Brick by brick. One person at a time.
I’d be remised if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank so many people who have inspired me to be in this position (Joe, Kat, Carolyn, Jeff, Christina the list goes on and on). I’d also like to thank my wife who continues to be my compass on what it means to be a better man. Thank you all for your time and I look forward to working with you all not only for this year but many years to come.