Three things I’m excited about this week

Greetings from Washington, D.C. I have been on the road quite a bit lately, representing Providence and sharing our story with different groups across the country. I was invited to speak in Nashville last Thursday at an annual conference for the Association of Health Insurance Plans. Then on Friday, I participated in a meeting in Chicago for the American Hospital Association. My latest stop is the Catholic Health Association’s (CHA) annual assembly in the nation’s capital.

It has been a bit of a whirlwind but I think it’s important to be out there as a voice for the great work that’s happening in communities across the Western United States. Caregivers throughout Providence and our affiliated organizations are making a major difference – serving the most vulnerable among us, creating healthier communities, and delivering care in new and innovative ways. I couldn’t be prouder of the work our teams are doing, which is why I try to spread the word and build enthusiasm and support for our Mission as often as I can.

With so many great activities happening at Providence at any given time, there is a lot to be enthuasistic about. In fact, there are three things right now that I find particularly inspiring.

1. Our innovative programs for the poor and vulnerable

Before I hit the road last week, I hosted a live Web cast for our 4,500 core leaders across Providence to talk about the different ways we’re meeting the health care needs of the underserved. I am inspired by the passion and creativity of everyone who is doing this important work, and I’m excited by what more we will accomplish together throughout the year and into the future. You can watch the full panel discussion below. To view our 2014 community benefit report, visit

Strategy briefing w arrow

Last week’s strategy briefing on community benefit was energizing. It was a great conversation with Joel Gilbertson, our senior VP of community partnerships and external affairs; Sherry Williams, community engagement director for Swedish; and Marie Mayen-Cho, director of Providence Access to Care and Health Education in Southern California.

2. Our compassion strategies and people featured at the annual CHA assembly

Providence is receiving lots of great recognition at the CHA assembly this week. Dr. Mark Rosenberg and Becca Hawkins, co-directors of Compassion Strategic Initiatives at Providence, were selected from hundreds of applicants to lead a break out session on strategies for maintaining compassion even in times of stress. Compassion is the driving force in health care, and as Becca put it so well in a recent interview with Catholic Health World:

“You can’t have a culture of safety without compassion. Patient satisfaction, quality and cost effectiveness are what every health care organization today aims for. We view compassion as the energizing force that enables all of that.”

I am also incredibly proud that Justin Joe, our community health manager in Torrance, is being honored with a Tomorrow’s Leader Award for his efforts to enroll low-income children and adults into subsidized insurance programs, as well as for his leadership of our Vasek Polak primary care clinic for the uninsured. In addition, our team approach to pregnancy care in Oregon was featured as part of the Innovation Challenge by the Global Lab for Health. The Oregonian posted a nice story last week about the recognition.

3. Two moving patient stories

Three years ago, a teenager who went into cardiac arrest while swimming was rushed to Providence Holy Cross in Southern California. Today, Matthew Scalise is 18 and set to graduate from high school. He recently returned to Holy Cross to reunite with the team that saved his life and says the experience has inspired him to become a nurse. It was a touching reunion, and I encourage you to watch some of the news clips about it. The story embodies what Providence is all about and illustrates the kind of difference our caregivers make in the lives of others on a daily basis.

We also had a great story in Oregon about Katie Dickens, who had a heart valve repaired using the TAVR procedure when she was five months pregnant. She gave birth to healthy Natalia Janina just a month ago and returned to Providence to introduce the little one to her cardiology team. To our knowledge this procedure has never been performed on a pregnant woman in the U.S., so it says a lot about the expertise and advanced technology we are able to offer to the community. Congratulations and thank you to the team at the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute and the Oregon region for all you do.

Sharing our story on social media 

As another way of sharing the Providence story, I am also trying to engage more on social media. If you’re on Twitter, you can find me at @RodHochmanMD. I post about some of the things I’m working on and thinking, the great work happening at Providence and news about our industry. You can also follow @Prov_Health for daily updates. Thank you as always for following this blog and to all those who take the time to engage with me in the comments.


  1. Rod,

    Great to read about the 3 exciting developments you shared this week.
    What I am most excited about this week is Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, “Laudato Si”. What a beautiful love letter to “Sister Earth”! Most importantly, Pope Francis has challenged every human being to do more to care for our environment. Surely, Providence, with a long history of stewardship, inspired by the Sisters of Providence’s Hopes & Aspirations document, will want to “step up” to do significantly more in response. As the leader of an Earth-caring Catholic healthcare system, I urge you to lay out for us your vision, plan, and available resources so that we can answer the Pope’s clarion call to action. My email is clogged with Providence people wanting to know how we will respond ….

    Urgently, Richard


    • Yes. The encyclical was incredibly inspiring and a challenge to us all. Stay tuned for more on this topic. Thanks for all you do for Providence, Richard.

  2. I was very moved and touched by a story about the teen who almost died and was saved at the Holy Cross Hospital. Seeing the whole family and the boy so appreciative of Providence care, makes me very proud to be a part of the entire organization.
    Go Providence!

  3. What a cool healthcare workplace to be in:>)