My fellow AVAHO members who care for our Nations Veterans;
Let me begin by apologizing for the August newsletter not being completed in time. With the annual meeting in September in Chicago there was just so much going on it didn’t get out to you. For those of you who were able to attend our annual conference, I hope you will agree with me that it was an amazing meeting organized by our planning committee and that every discipline within AVAHO was considered in making this meeting important and relevant for all members.
As you are probably aware, I tend to use this medium as an opportunity to bring a “sense of reason” to the complexities and frustrations of providing quality healthcare in today’s market and to try to motivate the members to do more and seek out new opportunities and approaches to patient care. For those of you were nit at the meeting or are unaware, I retired from the Federal Government with over 30 years of service this past July. It was not a difficult decision at all, and while I loved my job working for our Veterans and could have done it forever, it was time to turn it over to the younger generation (as I call it giving the car keys to the teenage driver!). I could not have asked for a more rewarding and fulfilling professional career, and I have many people to thank for my successes along the way.
During my presidential farewell talk in Chicago, I took the opportunity to share what I missed, and what I did not miss by still working, and I would like to share that and my parting words of wisdom with you for those who were not in attendance.
**Rusty’s power point slides from annual meeting**
I wish to thank each and every one of you for your support in trusting your organization in my hands this past year, and all those who helped me along the way. This organization, its varied membership, and its mission are truly unique and you should all be proud by the work you do for our Veteran’s fighting the battles of their lives. I leave the organization in excellent hands and leadership with a vision for the future that you will all continue to benefit from as members. From you all, I ask that you remain committed and devoted to our mission, and your own “internal mission” to make a difference in a patient’s life every day! Do not let the bureaucracy of health care drag you down; let the opportunities lift you up.
I will continue to serve AVAHO in my retirement as it is an organization I believe in, but my roles will be different. I believe it is time for me to “hand over the keys” to the newsletter as well, as I am getting more removed from the day to day issues and struggles now that I am 6 months into retirement. If you are interested in being part of the newsletter in the future, please contact either Julie Lawson or Morgane Diven, chair of the communications committee.
Again, thank you all for trusting me with the organization, your support, and mostly the work you do on behalf of our Veteran’s because that is who this is all about. Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to you all and your families, whatever your faith and celebrations are make the times special.
Rusty Crawford, B Pharm, BCOP
Former AVAHO President