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Finding Common Ground through Common Goals

My son has participated in a science fair as part of his school curriculum for the last three springs. In early fall, he begins thinking of interesting ideas that he wants to work on over the next few months and ultimately narrows down the list to the one project that he finds the most exciting. This year was no different!

A few weeks ago, he decided he wanted to work on a project that would allow him to use his newly acquired programming skills. Despite his best efforts to describe the project he wanted to explore, his teachers were not convinced about the appropriateness of a computer science project for fifth grade. After several days of my son revising the proposal and talking to his teachers, things were still at a stalemate. As parents, we tried our best to provide guidance without imposing our ideas on him (this is like walking on a tight rope in the night!), but eventually we were called to meet his teachers. During the meeting, it quickly became clear that we were not on the same page. Our interpretations of what we considered to be a valid science fair project were completely different.

However, we did have one common goal in mind. This was to encourage the child to be curious, independent and innovative, yet realistic. What could have been a very tense situation turned out to be a very respectful and productive conversation once we all realized that we had the same end goal in mind.

This experience made me think of the work we do at HealthInsight. Our work is not always easy, and sometimes we find ourselves at an impasse. However, the reminder of our end goals and the commitment to do what’s good for the community by engaging partners with common goals makes it a fruitful experience. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for our community partners who are constantly reminding us to push the envelope toward health care transformation, so we can achieve our combined goals together.

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