Leading From the Heart


Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart…about inspiration–of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes…it is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.
Lance Secretan

Secretan’s teachings are based on the core principle of connecting the soul with what we consider as “work”– the two becoming intertwined in a way that redefines our “work-life” balance, making both truly fulfilling. It combines our inner passion to make a difference in someone’s life with our reason to get up each morning and go to “work”.

Each day in healthcare we are given the opportunity to make the world  a better place—for our patients, our colleagues and our communities. As healthcare providers, we entered into our profession to care for others–to keep our patients safe at all costs while under our care. Think of the healing power that could occur not only in our healthcare workforce, but also in our patients, if leaders created care environments that were truly places that nurtured the soul.

Rosemary Gibson said it best when she paraphrased Gandhi, reminding us: “A patient is the most important visitor on our premises. They are not dependent on us – we are dependent on them. They are not an interruption in our work – they are the purpose of it. We are not doing our patients a favor by serving them, they are doing us a favor by allowing us to serve them.”

Can healthcare leaders create a work environment that reflects and honors the creative spaces of the soul and brings passion back into our daily work? Can healthcare leaders inspire caregivers to connect with their own inner values in helping health systems achieve the highest quality, safest care possible for both patients and caregivers?

As we move into the New Year, I am hopeful we can all “lead from the heart” in ways that inspire ourselves and others to achieve the highest quality, safest care possible for our patients and our caregivers.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy new year.

Mini-Documentary Shares Why to Take Part in Telluride Patient Safety Experience

In the short video that follows, Telluride Alumni and Faculty share why this patient safety educational experience is like none other. Applications for medical student and nursing scholarships, thanks to the generous sponsorship of The Doctors Company, are now being taken via the website (click here). Resident physician sessions are also available, and all are welcome to apply with sponsorship from their programs. Thanks again to the generous sponsorship of CIR, COPIC and MedStar Health, resident physicians with affiliation to these organizations should reach out to their leadership and apply for one of the spots they sponsor as well. Deadline Extended to February 15th!


Virtual Stocking Stuffer for Storytellers

tracy3_FINALAfter a brief hiatus for the #IHI26Forum, and in preparation for launch of Using Stories to Influence Change in Healthcare as an Amazon eBook, we are back online! With all the repeat hits to our ETY storytelling posts, it seemed of value to put them in a collection along with some of the ‘how and why’ storytelling has become of even greater value in healthcare. Here is the link if interested in having all of the storytelling posts in one place along with new commentary. From the description:

…as long as there are patients who fall victim to preventable harm in healthcare, there are healthcare professionals who also have a story rich in learning material from the other side of the bedrail. Both sides of the patient harm story will need to be embraced by healthcare leadership in order to achieve the delivery of reliable, high-quality, safe care everyone desires. Because the numbers harmed by healthcare have at the very best plateaued, an urgent need to pick up the pace for change remains. Sharing the stories of patients and healthcare professionals on a larger and more strategic scale throughout the industry will allow others to learn vicariously from mistakes as well as successes, building upon the positive momentum found when utilizing storytelling as a medium for change. Once again, our stories can provide the guiding light leading us into a new world for healthcare—where the patient voice is welcomed, and healthcare professionals are allowed to speak their truth.

And finally, our healthcare stories also serve many masters. When patients share their story of illness, they heal. When families tell stories of loss, they grieve. When healthcare professionals relate stories of guilt or near misses, they unburden their souls and can fix what is broken in health systems, enabling them to once again care for others as intended. Freedom to tell our story has always been a way to health and happiness. Using Stories to Influence Change in Healthcare is a jumping off place for those interested in learning more about how stories are being used in healthcare, and why they hold the power over us that they do. Tips from expert storytellers on how to craft good stories, as well as a glimpse into the science of story round out this introductory collection on using stories in healthcare…

Resident QIPS Council Hosts Second Educational Gathering January 14, 2015


“Calling all resident physicians in the Washington DC/Baltimore area!”

The MedStar Health and University of Maryland Resident Physician Quality Improvement & Patient Safety Council, or QIPS Council, is hosting its second “Evening of Wine & Wisdom” educational speaker series and networking event. The event will take place on January 14th, from 5:30-8:30pm at Westminster Hall on the University of Maryland campus. You can register for this free event at www.QIPScouncil.org,  and take part in engaging discussion after listening to presentations on “Inspiring and Empowering Change thru the Face of Medical Harm,” given by leading national patient and healthcare advocates.

Building on the great success of our first QIPS “Wine and Wisdom” event held in DC that featured Paul Levy, author and leadership coach, our second event will include talks by speakers Helen Haskell and Rosemary Gibson. Helen is President of Mothers Against Medical Error, and Rosemary is an author, Senior Advisor at the Hastings Center and an ACGME Board Member. Both healthcare leaders have been working to educate the young (and old) on what it means to deliver care that is safe and patient-centered for the better part of their careers.

We hope you will join us for a great evening of Wine and Wisdom.