Today’s General Session at the NACHC 2017 CHI and EXPO gave attendees a much needed dose of spiritual and musical nourishment. Internationally known graffiti artist and author Erik Wahl gave a special presentation that challenged health center leaders to live a new normal of disruption (referring to himself as a disruptive strategist). Wahl uses a multimedia experience to drive home his point — painting stunning portraits of icons such as John Lennon and Albert Einstein in a matter of seconds while showing video montages with extraordinary images of places and people. In addition to recommending some “post-breakfast daydreaming,” to fine-tune our sense of wonder, Wahl also underscored the importance of health center leaders acting on their creativity and intuition.
“Sometimes it does pay to take a compassionate risk,” Wahl said, explaining that “the future of quality care and social justice” depends on looking at the here and now of the patient experience with “empathy, emotion and creativity” rather than the broader health care picture.
Wahl’s riveting presentation was followed by the rousing music of the Urban Voices Project. The choir is composed of performers from the Skid Row neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. The point of the group is to bring the healing power of music directly to individuals disenfranchised by homelessness, mental health issues and unemployment. Their voices certainly brought healing and joy to the General Session and brought the audience to a standing ovation.
Despite the upbeat mood in the General Session, everyone’s minds were on Hurricane Harvey’s pummeling of Texas. NACHC Board Chair Jim Luisi shared that NACHC’s leadership and board have met with officials from the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) and are coordinating efforts with the Texas Association of Community Health Centers to coordinate relief efforts. NACHC has also posted an alert from BPHC that may be useful for health centers in Harvey’s path of destruction.
The General Session also featured the NACHC Community Health Care Awards of Excellence to health center leaders in recognition of their distinguished service.
After the gathering concluded attendees dashed off to a host of education sessions that focused on a variety of topics — Population Health Improvement, Financial Strategies, Accountable Care Best Practices, Engaging the Media on Hot Button Issues, and much more! And don’t forget the EXPO Hall and a grab bag of cool giveaways, including the very popular fidget spinner.