Current Report Articles
President's Perspective – Fond Farewell

Tom Bell square (Aug. 28, 2020) – I could write my last column as president and CEO of the Kansas Hospital Association in two words: Thank you! However, my legal training and many years working with politicians will not allow me to say in two words what I can say in several hundred.

Over the years, I have often reflected about how fortunate I am to have been in a position to serve and lead the Kansas Hospital Association. One of the foremost reasons for this is that I have been able to work with a staff of some extremely talented people. The KHA team is comprised of bright, knowledgeable, hard-working, caring individuals who understand how much Kansas hospitals depend on them. I realize I'm not telling you anything that is a surprise—you see the evidence of it on a regular basis. I did, however, want to emphasize how lucky I have been to be part of such a special team. I simply can't count the number of times that, despite the miscalculations of their boss, KHA staff members have proved the value of their state hospital association.

Long ago, when I first started doing legal work for KHA, it quickly became very clear that I was being given the opportunity to represent a special group of people. I was the recipient of nothing but warmth and support, even though as a young lawyer I made more than my share of mistakes. And despite the fact that KHA was a statewide organization, the family atmosphere among the members was unmistakable. That support and family atmosphere has continued and, in my opinion, has been a defining characteristic of the KHA membership. But something more important became evident to me as the years progressed. Being a part of KHA has allowed me to work for, and represent, the best among us: people who care for the most vulnerable members of society every hour of every day; people who run toward a problem instead away from it; people who prioritize the health of patients ahead of personal security. Few positions match this opportunity to advocate for, and express gratitude to, these individuals.

So, I come back to those two words—thank you. Thank you to the KHA staff and the KHA membership for allowing me to be a part of this special family. I wish you all the very best.
--Tom Bell