That’s how I referred to Maryland’s hospital leaders in my remarks Tuesday at MHA’s Annual Membership Meeting. The reference came after we showed a very effective and touching American Hospital Association video featuring hospital employees talking about their “superpowers” on the front lines of care. The behavioral health crisis, questions surrounding coverage at the national level, and as many questions about the next phase of Maryland’s All-Payer Model, among other things, are making you Commanders of Chaos, and it is almost superhuman the way you are continuing to take care of people and communities in the face of such turmoil.
I mentioned that commanders need armies around them to get the job done, and one such supporter for us is Senator Thomas M. (Mac) Middleton, to whom I was very proud and happy to present MHA’s highest honor: The Distinguished Service Award. This is not an award we give annually, but one we give only when someone is deemed deserving. And Senator Middleton’s support for and championing of the mission of hospitals has certainly been exactly that. His work in Annapolis has been marked not just by effectiveness, but also by grace and class – not something that can always be said about the often rough-and-tumble politicking that goes on from January into April each year. Senator Middleton understands why you do what you do, and fights for what you need to do it. His gracious and touching acceptance remarks Tuesday displayed a real knowledge of and deep appreciation for the work that you do and the chaos that surrounds it.
Our speakers, David Brooks, Rick Pollack, and Dr. David Wolf, gave us unique insights from the world of journalism, from Capitol Hill, and from outer space respectively, but each, as Pollack told us, “connected the dots” to help us understand where our chaos fits in this uncertain, challenging, but ultimately promising national and local transformation. And we changed leadership, passing the gavel – literally – from Mark T. Jensen to Mary Pat Seurkamp as MHA’s Executive Committee chair. We thank Mark for his diligent service and thank Mary Pat for agreeing to be at the helm as we navigate the chaos that lies ahead.
And thank you for your continued support of your MHA, and for continuing to make better the lives of the people who rely on you during their own times of chaos.