This first day of October I will be stepping into the role of interim CEO here at the Foundation for Health Care Quality. I am approaching this change with a deep appreciation for the work that we do at the Foundation and the humility appropriate to moving into a new space. In this role, I will work to mirror the transparency that our programs give to our health care ecosystem.

2020 has been full of change and of trauma. We are all now moving into an uncertain fall, facing a potential rise in COVID-19 cases, our regular influenza season, and for Seattle a shift from sun and being outdoors to rain, clouds, and being indoors. I certainly feel the absence of the ability to have large in-person gatherings and celebrations. We are also just beginning to untangle the economic repercussions of COVID-19.

Transparency is increasingly important. Serving as a safe table for difficult conversations is increasingly important. We need to talk about the pervasive nature of racism and the role of health care delivery in addressing bias and unequal outcomes. We need to unpack how our social environments impact the lives we get to lead. What can we do as a community to collectively examine surgical care, labor and delivery, and increase patient safety?

Within our Bree Collaborative team we have started our weeks by acknowledging COVID’s – and the year’s – impact on our lives. From the small – not being able to take our annual pumpkin patch picture with friends – to the large – losing family members, we acknowledge it all. Having a conversation about that which is stigmatized or unspoken is a gift that allows us to better focus on the work at hand. We need to talk about our biases. I will be continuing to serve half time as director of the Collaborative and half time as interim CEO. I want to acknowledge this upfront and pledge that I will work to approach decisions and priorities with as little bias as possible – and challenge all of us to speak up if something does not feel right.

As we move into this fourth and last quarter, I want to think about what we are doing well, what we are doing wrong, and what 2020 has taught us. We need to start with honest assessment of who we are, who we can be, and where we need to grow.

Looking forward to the conversations.

Ginny Weir, MPH
Interim CEO, Foundation for Health Care Quality
Director, Bree Collaborative