After decades participating at multiple levels within the International Society for Quality in Health Care, I am both delighted and humbled to be taking over the role of President this month from Wendy Nicklin.
From my earliest days, when I gave my first presentation at an ISQua conference – not quite two decades ago, now – I have deeply valued the collegiate nature of our organisation and the opportunity to learn from people with enormously varied careers, expertise, and life experiences. Quite simply, through ISQua, the world becomes a smaller, better place. As advocates for improved healthcare, we have the opportunity to connect and learn from one another, display empathy for the challenges people face in different circumstances, see innovations at work and offer our support to all who need it.
Like many organisations, we are facing challenges on multiple fronts during the COVID-19 era. Rest assured, we are in fundamentally good shape. Our staff and Board are world class and well equipped to meet the headwinds. Our stakeholders are engaged and huge contributors to our success. Ranging from international bodies such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, the OECD and World Bank, through to Academicians, Fellows, experts, institutional and individual members and substantial numbers of other participants and supporters, we have many people playing a part in making ISQua the success story it is today.
For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest challenges of our professional and personal lives. ISQua’s role is to be there; rock solid, a font of knowledge, and unwavering in our commitment to the safety and quality cause in troubled times. Our job is to support, to educate, and to pursue the mission regardless of the difficulties. In times of crisis, we will not lose sight of our remit to inspire and drive improvements in the quality and safety of healthcare worldwide. Our education programmes will continue to foster a global learning community. In short, we will provide the resources and resourcefulness to inspire, guide and empower all our members, colleagues, supporters and friends.
Over the next three years during my term, I hope to build on the platform of success that Wendy Nicklin laid as President. She inturn benefited from the wisdom of her Past President, Cliff Hughes, and he inturn reaped the reward of following David Bates, Bruce Barraclough and many other committed individuals reaching into the past.
Indeed, ISQua has a long historical tradition going back 35 years. It’s inspirational to think of, and to extend thanks to, all the talented individuals surrounding ISQua going back decades, many of whom remain active and strong supporters of everything we do today. I would also thank Peter Lachman as CEO and retiring Board members Sara Yaron, Jacqui Stewart, David Vaughan and B.K. Rana who have been instrumental in helping create our recent success. I offer not only my deep gratitude to them all but wish them well in their future endeavours. Wendy, Sara, Jacqui, David, B.K. and Peter – you will always be deeply respected members of our community. Thank you on behalf of all us.
Looking ahead to the next few years, we are aiming to extend our organisation and our global footprint – from extending our networks, to developing new strategic opportunities, to continuing to support low-, middle- and high-income countries in need of our expertise. We intend to consolidate our position, spread our expertise far and wide, and respond to the impact of climate change, pollution and population growth on the health of communities. Together we will strive for better, safer, higher quality healthcare for all.
While the world is in the midst of troubled times, it is heartening to recall the wisdom of those who have gone before, who also faced great challenges, and whom we hold in great esteem. I’m moved by the words of Mother Teresa: “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”