As we approach Veteran's Day next week I can't help but to reflect on the sacrifices those in uniform and their families have made to ensure Americans continue to enjoy the freedoms and quality of life that help to define our lives here. Those veterans who came before us, as well as those currently serving, have done so out of a sense of patriotism and having the call to serve.
As we reflect upon all the great gifts we have in our country, I think it’s also very fitting to reflect on how we too, as healthcare professionals, can contribute and give back to society, both here and abroad. I’m not suggesting or expecting anyone to all of a sudden to join the Armed Forces or volunteer for the Peace Corps (although I also wouldn’t discourage it) but I am proposing we take some time to explore how we can better leverage all of our skills towards the betterment of the public health of Americans as well as others. The call to serve should be a natural desire for all of us in healthcare. While many do volunteer to “do good things”, I don’t believe it’s the norm; and I certainly don’t believe there’s enough.
I’d like Salus to set a new standard and redefine how we reach out to others, both here and abroad, to have an even greater impact than we do now on society. As many of you know, we currently care for children in Philadelphia, Norristown and surrounding public schools, send teams to Haiti, rural, middle America as well as other locations, but we don’t have a centralized, fully aligned approach to this. I would like to use this refection on Veteran’s Day and a call to service to challenge the Salus community to work together to see how we can COLLECTIVELY pool our expertise as a University community to positively affect the lives of others.
I don’t believe there’s a single formula for this, which is why I’m challenging you to come up with some ideas. One idea I’ve discussed is to reorganize SOSH and have them align with others at the university to expand their scope of services and destinations. Let’s talk about it, develop a plan and then, in the true spirit of caring, generosity, ingenuity, and selflessness, execute something that has the Salus signature on it in honor of all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice which allowed us to exercise our freedom in being able to choose healthcare as a profession - and then give something back to society as a way of saying "thanks".