By: Daniel Haight, MD
Tuesday, December 4 2012
“The health of a community is the wealth of a community.” That is something I heard often at the beginning of my career in public health. Everyone wants to live in a thriving successful region, but getting there takes partnerships. That’s why there are many reasons I’m excited about joining Lakeland Regional Health Systems’ efforts to improve the economy of Polk County by helping us all become healthier.
Last year, Lakeland Regional created a community benefit plan that pulls together groups, organizations and residents to improve the health conditions that trouble us the most. I am passionate about community health—it’s not just treating one patient at a time, but rather impacting thousands of individuals at once. If you can share a healthy message heard by many and then repeated, it will start many more healthy conversations. Eventually, those words will turn into action.
Words are also promises, like the oaths many professionals take at the beginning of their careers. We help our patients by listening, caring and promoting healthy habits. But our job does not end there. I remember the oath I took when graduating medical school: part of the Hippocratic Oath includes a promise to teach. Out of respect for those who taught me, there is no greater honor than to pass my knowledge on to others. Lakeland Regional is at the beginning of a journey that will raise educational standards by training our future doctors.
Health is much more than the opposite of sickness or treating an illness. LRMC places a priority on preventing disease and promoting the best ways to stay healthy. An academic community like Lakeland will soon educate doctors in ways to provide excellent healthcare for our patients. The physicians who will lead this effort to instruct young doctors are to be commended as they strive to be good teachers. Our patients will benefit from a team approach to their healthcare, and the spirit of an oath to teach, taken long ago, lives on.
LRMC is your hospital and community partner. Together, we can benefit all members of our community. Graduate medical education (GME), and training our future caregivers, is good for the patient’s health and good for our community’s economic health. I am excited to be a part of this transformation.