Last night, May 3rd, I had the opportunity to attend the GSA Business Health Care Heroes award event. Let me explain what I mean when I said, “I had the opportunity to attend.” In fact, I whined about going to my assistant, co-workers, family and anyone else who would listen. The one positive was that I did not have to make any remarks…I was talked out. In addition, I had been out several nights already. Our middle daughter was getting back from college this evening. My in-laws were in town and, surprising to some, I do enjoy being with them. You get the picture, I was the complainer refusing to take responsibility for my self, even my wife said I was acting like a “victim.” That little jab actually helped get me back on track.
So, I went to the event, awkwardly interacted during the social hour, got my picture taken, was given instructions on where to sit and how the evening would go and told I had 2 minutes in which to make comments. That last bit of news prompted to start whining again, I did not think I had to get up in front of the group…I didn’t even wear a suit that day. Then a shift occurred. I saw Melinda Hudson Gillespie and Linda Rettew, both employees at GHS, and discovered they were also nominees. There were several categories of nominations: Physician, First Responder, Nurse, Community Outreach, Health Care Professional, and Volunteer. The GHS nominations were: Linda Rettew for Nurse, Melinda Hudson Gillespie for Community Outreach and me for Health Care Professional.
As the dinner portion of the event ended, the awards part of the program began. The finalists were called up to the podium as Carol Goldsmith from WYFF read the nomination. They each received the plaque and made some brief remarks. The last person called up in each category was the Health Care Hero. Hearing Carol read the accomplishments of all the finalists was wonderful and, for me, made the night worthwhile. In case you are wondering, I was not selected as the Health Care Professional Hero (more about that later), but I did have an opportunity to make some comments: I told the audience that I was grateful and accepted the award on behalf of the Upstate Community, Staff, Clinicians, Physicians and Patients. I also thanked our Marketing Department for buying the Gold Sponsorship and thereby assuring my nomination – that did get a chuckle. Finally, I spoke to the other finalists and thanked them for connecting me back to purpose and love in our shared calling. Little did they know how dramatically I shifted from where I was when the night started, to where I was as I listened to their stories.
Although I did not win the hero award, which competitive Mike did not like, my ego was comforted by hearing Tracey Jackson from Piedmont Care speak about her organization – a deserving leader and organization that provides AIDS/ HIV care. We did have one Hero in the GHS ranks, however, Melinda Hudson Gillespie (doesn’t she know it is not good to do better than the CEO?). She was gracious in her acceptance and clear in her recognition, as she thanked God, first and foremost. I was grateful to be in the presence of Melinda and Linda that evening.