MCC Daily Tribune

President's Wednesday Message

As you likely know, I was out of the office for a bit in July due to a health issue that left me hospitalized for a little more than a week. I thank everyone who sent me an email, note, or card of best wishes: these meant so much! It was also so heartening to meet accomplished, thoughtful, and confident MCC grads during my stay. One had completed our Nursing program in 1991 and still spoke passionately almost three decades later about how the program changed her life.

Throughout the process, I spent time all over the hospital from the Emergency Department to Interventional Radiology, from a bed in the hallway to one in observation to one in an actual room. I slept in fragments, waking at all hours to new faces, new sounds, new stories. In employees and patients, the hospital is a microcosm of the diversity of our community and its many challenges. So much is going on every moment of every hour and every moment is poised to make the difference. In the rush of the unfamiliar, where risk is real and every other word seems to come from an unknown language, having and/or being an active advocate is invaluable. I learned a lot.

Over the course of a week, I interacted with everyone from transport staff to facilities workers to radiologists to infectious disease specialists to many, many nurses. In every location and in every interaction I personally experienced and quietly watched others experience, one thing stood out: how--even in the most difficult of situations and with the most difficult patients and family members--every single hospital employee was direct but also kind and genuinely caring in their approach. They didn't have to be. Sick, weary, and hooked up to machines of every size, type, and noise, where were I and my fellow patients going to go? But they were. And, it made all the difference.

In the days since, I've reflected on this observation. I even looked up the hospital's mission, vision, and values. It promises "patients, co-workers, and community to always act with Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence." The power of living those values was made real in the hospital's culture and by the employees who took them to heart.

I've written in the past about the importance of living our MCC values: excellence, empowerment, inclusiveness, collaboration, and stewardship. It strikes me that we have two unwritten values as well: compassion and respect. In conversation after conversation with our students, these aspects of MCC come up over and over as key to their success: they encountered individuals who addressed their concerns and challenges with compassion and they felt respected in their interactions with faculty, staff, and administrators. The same can be said of our employees. Compassion and respect are humanist values but they are also learning outcomes that we see as central to a college education and to the process of that education, itself. Further, they are foundational to any effective and welcoming workplace.

All of this made me wonder: should we write out these unwritten values? I welcome your thoughts.

Kress, Anne
President's Office