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Meetings in Catholic health systems and hospitals almost always begin with a prayer or meditation that reinforces the organization’s religious heritage, its mission, vision and values.

No such tradition exists in the vast majority of other hospitals in America.  Meetings begin with news, gossip or lame idle chatter. 

What a wasted opportunity.

Hospitals across America are struggling with a litany of challenges: high costs, less than stellar quality of care and patient safety numbers, disenfranchisement of employees, and, in far too many cases,  a lost of trust and hope.

What is wrong with starting every meeting with a moment of silence—and a solemn commitment to do everything in our power to ensure that our patients are not harmed, that their safety is upmost in our minds? What is wrong with reaffirming our conviction that our employees are our most important asset, and that nurturing their hope and trust is a leadership imperative?

The answer: nothing.

© 2012 John Gregory Self