Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D. Blog

Thoughts and ideas on healthcare

Hi, and welcome to my blog! I'm Susan E. Mazer -- a knowledge expert and thought leader on how the environment of care impacts the patient experience. Topics I write about include safety, satisfaction, hospital noise, nursing, care at the bedside, and much more. Subscribe below to get email notices so you won't miss any great content.

Remember What 18 Was Like?

June 16, 2010

As you may know, this month is our 18th anniversary of producing the C.A.R.E. Channel. I must admit that I am stunned not so much by the number of years we have been doing this work, but by the fact that we have survived so many changes in our society and in health care. At the time we started, we just wanted to do this work…and, that is still where we are. At the same time, we have grown, health care has changed, the world is a different world.

When I was 18, we were recovering from the assassination of JFK and moving further into Vietnam. Detroit was thriving before the riots. I could go on about the dramatic changes that went on then, but in reality, the same and greater changes are going on now.

I look at the oil spill, the chaos and loss that it has caused, and the debate and questioning about the risks at hand. Then, I turn not 90 degrees to look at the continuing violence and loss of life impacting whole generations by war, disease, and hunger. Again, I turn another 90 degrees and see an ongoing question about whether the richest country in the world can afford to take care of its own, can afford to provide health care for all of its citizens.

The Gulf oil spill is still taking up a spotlight far brighter and more focused than any other of these other pressing issues. Don’t misunderstand me as I am hardly diminishing this catastrophic event and the consequences that will last for generations. Rather, I am pointing to how easy it is for us to collectively become habituated to the pain around us and have it move out of focus.

In the last year, I have written over and over about the weaknesses and risks inherent in the current health care system. We now have taken a baby step in change. Small, but as significant as an actual first step taken by baby. And, the realities for those without health insurance are not different as I write this. Yes, everything takes time; and time is both friend and foe when illness hits.

These last 18 years will not be as significant as the next 18 years. The future has much more power of potential than the past. However, the improving the human condition is what inspired the work Dallas and I started in 1992 and is what fuels our commitment and the work we do to this day.

Again, I am stunned that we are here at this time and able to continue to live this vision. Clearly, the need is there…and we are here, along with our amazing staff, to respond to it.

Subscribe to Susan's Blog

Get timely posts about the patient experience straight to your inbox!