Who among us has the same thoughts, ideas and assumptions that we had ten, eleven, or twelve short months ago? How could we?
A plague has torn through our country, unabated as I write this. While largely nondiscriminatory in its deadliness, COVID-19 has shone a light on a health care system rife with, even defined by, discrimination.
The shockwaves caused by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and too many others continue to ricochet around the country, underscoring the profound societal inequalities that health care providers are all too familiar with.
And the catastrophic wildfires, record-smashing heat, drought and hurricanes (more numerous than ever) are certainly the result of— retribution for?—how we’ve damaged our beautiful planet.
But in this year like no other, we’ve done more than just survive. We’ve learned, adapted and reprioritized. We’ve galvanized. This multi-pandemic allowed us all to show what we are really made of. Out of much suffering also comes incredible hope and promise.
I’m proud to say that the Consortium has been a key contributor, providing avenues for energy and creativity. Almost as soon as COVID-19 hit, we started hosting webinars to support programs to help them stay on course. We led a series of leadership forums, bringing together key people in our accredited programs to exchange ideas and to share ways in which they were successfully modifying their routines and plans in response to COVID.
Our annual conference in July built on that momentum, providing the opportunity for participants to learn from one another, and to feel inspired and energized. I think everyone left the “virtual” conference feeling that they are not “doing this alone,” and knowing that the Consortium is here to support them and the movement.
I am proud to be leading this extraordinary organization and that it has played such a key role at a time when people need to feel part of the movement and a network. People instinctively understand that old adage: There is strength in numbers.
We are filling a clear need. Not only is our membership base growing, but the Consortium is on track to accredit more postgraduate training programs in 2021 than we’ve accredited since the consortium’s inception.
I am proud of our achievements in 2020, in and of themselves, but also because they are the prelude to the future. Next year, we will continue to increase the accreditation business and grow our membership base. And we will continue to lead, by offering national webinars, forums, membership meetings and resources for members, as well as pursuing ED Federal recognition through the appropriate processes.
All of this because this year like no other has been a painful lesson in the abject failings of the status quo. We pledge that the Consortium will continue to be an agent for change, a vehicle to make our health care system, and our country, more ethical and equal.
Because there is no going back.
As always, I welcome your comments, your ideas and your participation in the consortium, the movement at large and in our nation’s healthcare future. See you in the New Year!
Kerry Bamrick, MBA, Executive Director, NNPRFTC