Last week I spoke in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities in the USA. It’s a multicultural extravaganza of music, food and where you can endlessly stroll down quaint streets
I delivered the opening address to the Case Management Society of America (CMSA). Case management is one the newer job descriptions in healthcare, these are professionals who are responsible for managing patient care after they’re discharged from hospitals. They communicate and integrate care with all the providers. They promote health literacy by educating patients and families how to best deal with their conditions, and understanding theirhospital bills (80% of which contain errors that increase costs by an average of 25%). This is a profession whose time has come! Healthcare delivery is in the midst of an enormous cultural shift, as we move from a model based on intervention, to one based on prevention.
In an audience of 2000, the majority of these managers were nurses. A fact I shamelessly exploited by announcing that I have been married to one for 52 years, and know how hard they work and party, which is why I was going to hang around for the evening’s festivities.
I did not; at the time know they’d hired a marching band to accompany us from the hotel to the party venue. It was the first time I’d ever had a chance to participate in a New Orleans Dixieland parade which traditionally is how this city leads its recently departed to their final resting place. I’ve always felt it was a great send off.
I happened to have a Grateful Dead T-shirt with me, somebody gave me a green tinsel wig that I wore, and marched gratefully, surrounded by beautiful women, thinking, this is the best disease prevention program I can imagine… don’t wait for the parade until you’re gone, dance in it now.
P.S. I was so busy participating I never took any pictures, so If there’s anybody out there who took some please post them. :O)