Leadership Lessons: Words of Advice from Leaders on the Front Lines.

March 1, 2021

This month’s leadership lesson is from Carolyn Kazdan, MHSA, NHA, Alliant Quality Aim Lead for Care Transitions.

Priorities & Strategies of the New CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a podcast interview featuring the new Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH who until her appointment served as Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Many of the priorities and strategies Dr. Walensky identified as she began her role as CDC Director apply to the work we do as health care leaders during this pandemic and as part of our ongoing operations.

These priorities and strategies include:

  1. Supporting and reassuring our teams that the work they do is both vital and appreciated.
  2. Communicating important messages and building trust through the use of consistent, scientific data and respect for the valid concerns of those we are communicating with.
  3. Finding a way to balance COVID-19 remaining our #1 priority with the need to refocus our efforts on other important work such as mental health, hypertension management, opioid and substance misuse, and vaccination rates.
  4. Ensuring that equity is part of our foundation.  We need to listen and learn from consumers and our staff regarding “what truth they will listen to and from whom” so they can fully understand the implications of the health care decisions they are making.