So yesterday we got the big news that wasn’t much news, of a scaling back in clinical scope and size—and related job cuts—that will dwarf anything we’ve experienced in UTMB’s history. I think we may have exhaled collectively, taking some relief finally in a decision, the first of many, and then settled back to the shock and numbness and moments of twisted humor and irony that have become part of life post-Ike.
I would have liked to have seen us emerge like a phoenix, up suddenly from the dust and piles of debris, stronger than ever. But the reality is there’s no magic wand, no pot of gold or pile of cash, no short cut to get us from where we are right now, to where we want to be in three months, six months, a year. Recovery is hard, especially when it’s compounded by the personal challenges so many face, by battered communities, an already fragile health care system, and a nation preocuppied with the potential of a financial meltdown.
But we will recover, of that I have no doubt. Success will be born of hard work, grit and determination. It’ll be carried forward by the commitment and expertise of our people. There will be sweat and tears, some painful goodbyes and loss of good people. But in a year, the people of UTMB will look back, and they’ll be proud of what they’ve rebuilt, of what they’ve accomplished.
For now, life goes on, and we take it one day at a time. Change brings disruption, but it also creates opportunities. I’m bolstered by my faith in our people, by the knowledge that we’ll be kind and caring with each other. Let’s not let fear and anxiety overshadow the miracles life offers us with each day.