It really has been a remarkable year – full of challenges, changes, and accomplishments. And, we witnessed new levels of determination and strength as our teams remained dedicated to our mission of eliminating cancer.
As an institution, we came to a point of reflection: Were we going to hang on to the status quo, or were we going to embrace the opportunity to change and evolve? The response was overwhelming: we couldn’t wait. Our employees wanted to transform our beloved organization – together. They recognized that this would make us a stronger MD Anderson moving forward, and ultimately enable our next president to take us to even greater heights.
We laid out three priorities to guide us through this transformation: turn the tide financially, connect our people to our decisions, and build a team-based culture at all levels of the organization.
The people of MD Anderson were the key element that helped us on this journey. Our leaders empowered our teams, allowing them to be a part of the solution. By pushing decisions into the organization, we created accountability for shared success and increased engagement by letting our teams solve problems themselves. Through frequent communication and a focus on transparency, we actively shared what was happening at all levels of the organization so our employees could connect their efforts to the bigger picture. Finally, we identified near-term priorities on which to focus our energy, allowing us to make meaningful progress toward our shared goals.
This culture change was validated during the events of Hurricane Harvey. Teamwork, empowerment, and local decision-making were evident as our teams quickly adapted to an evolving situation. Our employees demonstrated just how resilient they are, working together to safely care for our patients and for each other. During and after the events of Hurricane Harvey, we saw a tremendous outpouring of support from across Texas and the nation – a testament to the cherished role our employees play and the strength of MD Anderson’s reputation as a leader in cancer care.
The accomplishments of this year are due to our strengths – the excellence of our people, our culture of caring and teamwork, and our commitment to our mission. These traits are the bedrock of who we are at MD Anderson. As we begin a new chapter in our history, these strengths will remain our foundation and help us continue to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients – both today and tomorrow.
It was the privilege of a lifetime to serve MD Anderson as president ad interim, and I look forward to seeing us thrive as we move forward as one team – one MD Anderson.