While the end of the calendar year is a time when many look back over what they’ve accomplished over the year, I prefer to look forward. The New Year is a time of renewed energy, new goals, and new opportunities (just look at the parking lot of your local gym next week!). So, I thought I’d talk today about what I’m looking forward to in 2017.
First and foremost, I am looking forward to being able to serve more patients, in many cases providing life-saving care for their mental health problems. Each day, we hear about people who need mental health care and drug treatment programs, and we vow to continue to provide the high quality services that they need, but also to be figuring out how we can expand our services to serve more people. We have capacity, will, and the human capital needed to accomplish that goal. We will continue to expand our workforce (especially those who are direct care providers); we will continue working with our partners to try to fix broken regulations that keep us from doing what we can do; and we will be evaluating the services that we have the talents to provide. In 2016, we opened our new Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility for children, a much needed service in our state. What will 2017 bring? We don’t yet know, but we do know that we will continue to fill the needs of our state as we have done for over 60 years.
Next, I am looking forward to even more opportunities for our employees. We will be looking at opportunities to provide more education to our employees, helping them to expand their roles with new knowledge. We will be looking at how we can expand our mentorship of students who may want to work with us in the future as professionals, expanding our workforce “pipeline”. And, we will be looking at our organizational structure to be sure we have the right people in the right positions in order to use their skills to their highest potential. We have so much talent and so many ideas right under our collective roofs—we want to tap into those talents in new ways.
Finally, I am looking forward to working with all of our external partners—our boards, our peers, and our state and federal officials to assure that we have a mental health system in this state that meets the needs of our citizens, and that Highland is an essential part of that system. As we welcome a new President, a new Governor, and many others in new roles in the federal and state arena next month we stand ready to be an important part of the goal of having a healthy population who can fully participate in the future of our great state and country. Happy New Year to all—I can’t wait to welcome 2017!