I looked back to see what I wrote about in this space last December and I shared my experience about being in a hospital bed for the first time. Then I looked back to 2014 and saw that I wrote that column from beside my mother’s hospital bed. Fortunately I have no medical experiences to contemplate on this year which makes me feel very grateful. ‘Tis the season for reflection and focusing on the important things in life so excuse me while I do just that this year.
The Symposium will celebrate its 30th year in 2017 and the following year it will be 20 years since I first worked on the Symposium – in full disclosure I had a 2 year hiatus from 2003-2004. Either way you slice it that is a long time for an event to be around. And it has certainly been a large chunk of my life.
I just spent this past weekend in Florida at the wedding of one of our advisory board members. All of us have relationships that start in our professional lives but become much more personal in nature. Certainly when you are invited to someone’s wedding that is an indication you’ve moved beyond networking and business connections.
I came home to an email from Bring Change 2 Mind thanking us for the generous donation to their organization. We ended up donating over $15,000 thanks to the generosity of our attendees and sponsors during the raffle at the event in September. Bring Change 2 Mind is doing such important work in trying to change the stigma associated with mental illness. As someone who has family members afflicted by mental illness this is an important cause to me.
My job is to lead the team that produces the best Symposium we can every year to evoke change and the advancement of a better delivery of healthcare through the physical space. In this column I try to provide you with insight into that process throughout the year. For example right now we’re receiving speaking proposals for 2017.
In this season of reflection I am grateful that my job is really much greater than that. I am grateful that the sessions we program and the exhibitors we bring together help you create healthcare environments that truly impact people’s lives at their most vulnerable moments. I am grateful for the people I have met through the Symposium, many of which I now count as friends. I am grateful for the compassion and awareness of those who take part in the Symposium and how they demonstrate that through their donations to a different worthy cause each year. And I am truly grateful that my job has greater meaning than just earning a paycheck.
I hope you take some time during this rushed season and focus on what you are grateful for, as it really is the true spirit of the season.
Happy & Healthy Holidays to you and yours!
Jenabeth Ferguson Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo
P.S. Have a thought about the Symposium? Please feel free to contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.