Tracy Douglas-Wheeler: Reflections on My First Anniversary as CEO - Virginia Community Healthcare Association

Tracy Douglas-Wheeler: Reflections on My First Anniversary as CEO

To me, December always feels hopeful as I anticipate the holiday season and reflect with gratitude on all the year has gifted me. This year has been no exception, as December 1st marked my first year as CEO of this wonderful organization.

Starting a new role during a global pandemic allowed me to see first-hand the resilience of our VCHA family. I’ve loved getting to know our member health centers, CEOs, and staff, as well as our VCHA team and partners. I’m grateful for all I’ve learned through both the challenging parts and the successes we’ve shared as an Association.

As an organization, I’m proud of all our team has accomplished. We’ve launched a new VHCA brand. We’ve strengthened our already stellar staff with new hires and expertise. We’ve strived toward and will continue the momentum to build a culture of: “best place to work.” We’ve re-aligned, re-engineered, and enhanced our internal processes, organizational initiatives, and systems to serve our members better. And we’ve adopted data warehousing to help our members provide maximum-value healthcare services through the lens of data sharing, analytics, and benchmarking. Finally, despite COVID roadblocks and an ever-evolving infrastructure, we’ve maintained the quality training and technical assistance our members have come to expect and appreciate – both virtually and in person.

But folks. Growth and change were HARD. We stretched our capabilities, tested new systems, and learned what works and what doesn’t. We endured some (at times, intense) growing pains, but our Association has come out more robust thanks to our shared tenacity to invest in the future. We couldn’t have achieved that growth or strength without our members’ patience. Thank you for working with us as we navigated toward our vision to Advocate, Educate, Elevate.

Speaking of our members, one of the greatest joys of my first year with the Association has been witnessing and celebrating your successes – made even more meaningful in the context of an unprecedented and challenging time in health care. I’m humbled to work with phenomenal CEOs who have unique insights, instincts, and perspectives and to represent community health centers that share a laser focus on knocking down barriers in pursuit of providing quality, affordable and accessible healthcare for all. Your investment in this shared mission is inspiring.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of this holiday season with all the love, light, and strength you deserve. I anticipate the opportunities ahead with excitement. I’ll “talk to you” in the new year. Here we come, 2022!

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