Cynthia Persily, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dr. Persily is the CEO of Highland Hospital in Charleston, WV.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in my first West Virginia Hospital Day at the legislature, sponsored by the WV Hospital Association. We had the opportunity to hear about the health care issues being dealt with by the legislature, as well as to hear from the Hospital Association about the issues that can have impact on our work. Finally, we had a chance to meet with our legislators to share our perspectives on legislative issues, and to tell our stories about how the care that we provide can be impacted, both positively and negatively, by their legislative actions.
I always appreciate the opportunity to tell our story to our stakeholders, and to advocate on behalf of our patients and their families. Talking to our legislators this week made me so proud because they recognize the impact that Highland has on our communities, and the importance of behavioral health care in our society. As we think toward the future of behavioral health care, we will be important experts to help shape the path. Several of our legislators asked me to provide data about the services we provide, the numbers of patients we treat, and the cost of that care.
Some asked for concept papers about our vision for the future. Rest assured that we will provide this to our legislators as we partner with them in moving behavioral health care services forward in our state, meeting the needs of our citizens.
As an aside, while we explored issues and potential solutions to problems we face in behavioral health with legislators yesterday, I appreciated even more that we live in a society where we have access to those who govern, and that they consider themselves our partners in making our state a better place to live, work, play, be educated, and obtain healthcare. So, while the political process can sometimes be contentious, and fraught with competing interests, it is one that we need to make to work to our best advantage to meet our common goals in health care.
We will be doing just that as we move forward with our vision of a continuum of high quality behavioral health care for all West Virginians.