Susie Dade, Deputy Director at the Washington Health Alliance (WHA), left the organization after being part of it for 15 years. In her farewell message Thoughts on Progress, Doing and Being a Nuisance, she talked about her experiences working for WHA since the first days of the organization. She shared her memories about the progress, the celebrated moments of successes, and the milestones of organizational growth. Dade did not shy from sharing that not everything was perfect and there were many moments of doubt and frustration but what mattered was the courage and the passion of everyone working to improve health and healthcare in their communities.
In her farewell, Dade said:
Creating and maintaining trust, successfully convening disparate stakeholders, accessing and aggregating data, reliably measuring performance and making results public, forging new and controversial topics – this has all been a remarkable undertaking that rests squarely on the shoulders of the Alliance’s member organizations and very talented and committed staff. All are absolutely foundational to improving health care value in our state; it would be difficult to move forward without them. So, yes, we are making a difference –we should acknowledge and celebrate that! The accomplishment belongs to all of us.
And while she talked about her work with the Alliance, her words will resonate with anyone working to improve the health and healthcare. For Dade what was the most important is the IDEA that drives the Washington Health Alliance (and all healthcare improvement collaboratives) “It’s the idea that we are stronger together than apart. It’s the idea that health care, as complex and as flawed as it is, can only be improved by working together through collaboration. It’s the idea that, to improve the health care system, everyone may have to give up some – maybe a lot – to get more.”