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President and CEO's Blog

By Daniel Gentry, PhD, MHA posted 12-13-2023 09:04

  
A Time For Reflection 
 
Greetings AUPHA Colleagues:
 
This time of year - the end of the fall semester, preparation for the holidays, and an approaching new year - always brings reflection, contemplation, and wonderment. For me, both about my personal life; and about my work life, AUPHA, and our field of healthcare management education.
 
History and Legacy
 
2023 has been a celebratory year for AUPHA, our 75th Anniversary. We marked the occasion with a special yearlong theme of “Leading Boldly Into The Future: Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence,” highlighted by holding our 2023 Annual Meeting at National Harbor, Maryland, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. As AUPHA’s seventh President and CEO, it has been an honor and privilege to lead the Association during this banner year. 
 
AUPHA’s legacy is strong, from our founding by seven masters programs from the U.S. and Canada in 1948, with funding from the Kellogg Foundation and leadership from Andrew (Andy) Pattullo; to the hiring of AUPHA’s first President and CEO, Gary Filerman in 1968; to the admission of bachelors program members in 1975; and the establishment of AUPHA’s first Prize, the John D. (Tommy) Thompson Prize in 1991. 
 
AUPHA has thrived because its Board and leaders have always valued sustainability. What AUPHA has created is built to last, and to be continually improved - from our faculty prizes and awards to our student scholarships. Strength in membership value and a strong balance sheet underpin our sustainability and our legacy. 
 
Gratitude and Joy
 
I am inspired by the column by our AUPHA Board Chair, Reid Oejten, in this issue of The Exchange. I encourage you to read it please. Like me, I know it will bring you joy. Other than what Reid has shared about gratitude and its importance, I can only add the things for which I am most grateful at the end of 2023. 
 
Personally, I am thankful for good health for me and my husband Patrick, for our community of friends and family, and for Patrick’s recent success at his post-retirement work as a watercolor artist in Pensacola. His joy is my joy. 
 
Professionally, I am grateful to all of you, the AUPHA community - a warm, welcoming, and caring community of scholars, colleagues, and friends. I’ve heard so many of you describe AUPHA as “special,” as “my people,” and our meetings as your favorite place to convene. That’s value that can’t be expressed in monetary terms. At the heart of that caring and value is the AUPHA Board and staff. I thank them for their passion and commitment to AUPHA, and their sincerity as contributing, caring community members. This is our shared joy.
 
Renewal and Promise 
 
For those of you who know me well, you know I’m the eternal optimist. I bring enthusiasm and optimism to my work with the AUPHA Board and our staff; not only intentionally but naturally. I like thinking about needed changes, improvement, and what we might accomplish in the coming year and near future. I find “failing fast,” and getting back up and trying again, very attractive. Particularly for important challenges that we currently have in both higher education and healthcare for which there are no readily apparent for-certain solutions. 
 
I am psyched about our 2024 AUPHA Annual Meeting theme, Reimagine | Reinvent | Transform; the opportunities for academic healthcare management to lead and make a difference at the intersection of higher education and healthcare in 2023; and the promise of a better future for our fellow human beings through more accessible, equitable, and higher quality education and healthcare. 
 
I believe that by working together, under AUPHA’s “big tent,” valuing and using the intellect and energy of “the AUPHA brain trust” (our members), guided by our diverse, strong, and committed Board, and powered by our “small but mighty” staff, we can accomplish anything. 
 
I wish you very happy holidays and your best year yet in 2024!
 
Dan
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12-14-2023 16:02

Beautifully said. Thank you for your leadership, Dan. We are grateful for you and the outstanding AUPHA staff! Happy holidays!