Reaching the Summit

Premier Pulse     January 2020

By Tarek Sabagh, MD, oncologistTarek-Sabagh_HS_350x350

Our medical staff is diverse in everything, including the hobbies we enjoy. Mountain climbing is one of those hobbies that is enjoyed by a good number of our medical staff. In climbing, the group has a clear goal to reach summit, the highest point on that mountain. Rope connects team members, who are divided into groups of two or three with a guide. Every team member has an equal responsibility of ensuring the team’s safety and achieving their goal.

How team members are arranged on the rope is another fascinating story. Going up the mountain, the most experienced climber is at the end of the rope, the least experienced is behind the guide at the front, and the third member is in the middle. The rationale is that the guide will always keep an eye on the climber behind him and relies on the climber at the end of the rope to watch their back.

I happen to be one of those who practices this hobby. My rank on the rope has never mattered to me, just as long as I’m on a rope that’s aiming to get to the highest point of the mountain. It’s even comforting to know there are others roped with me who have more experience.

I’d like to apply that experience to real life. At Premier Health, we’re embarking on one medical staff across the system. Ironically, there are three members, MVH, AMC, and UVMC, that will be roped together to achieve one goal - summit. Our summit is to reach the highest level of value-based, efficient, compassionate patient care. Similar to what happens in climbing, the three medical staffs will be roped together. Regardless of rank on the rope, every member is just as essential to the safety and success of the team as the next.

So, friends across Premier Health, let’s rope together to reach the summit and have fun doing it.

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