Philadelphia Freedom

With a dram of Glenmorangie at hand and a cat on my lap, gather ’round, kiddies, cuz grandpa’s gonna tell you about his last few weeks.
National Quality Summit
Wednesday through Friday, I attended the National Quality Summit sponsored by the National Association for Healthcare Quality. The event, held at Penn’s Landing in downtown Philadelphia, focused on transitions in care. Credit to the NAHQ planning team: The event packed a lot of good information shared by top industry experts like Dr. Eric Coleman and Cheri Lattimer. The more intimate venue — the Summit replaced the longstanding general conference this year — gave in-person and virtual attendees more time to network and more time to think through the QI implications of managing a whole person across every setting where clinical services get rendered.
Health care, as an industry in the U.S., really sucks at transitions; the subject is probably the next big area of improvement on a national scale. Glad to see NAHQ taking a leadership role in setting the agenda.
While I was there, I enjoyed the chance to re-connect with colleagues I’ve gotten to know over the years, because of the small-group lunches, the general reception and the invite-only president’s reception. I met new colleagues, too, thanks in part to a focus group with Abbott Nutrition (and what a learning experience that was — we too rarely include dieticians in our care-planning teams despite the effect of nutrition on readmissions and complications).
The only downside? I wish I would have planned to do some sightseeing. Looks like a lot of fun things to check out in Philly, but I didn’t allot myself enough time to take it all in.
Planning for The 3288 Review
Last week Friday, John, Elyse and I met at John’s charming front porch to start our detailed planning for The 3288 Review, the forthcoming literary journal sponsored by Caffeinated Press. John’s obvious enthusiasm for the project is infectious, and Elyse’s practical wisdom keeps our ambitions on the straight-and-narrow. We’re targeting a mid-August release. Next planning meeting is this coming Monday; I expect (ahem!) Alaric to grace us with his presence.
The Merry Widow
Last Sunday, I trekked to the East Side of the Mitten for a full day of merriment with April. We did brunch at the oh-so-tasty Pantry then drove to downtown Detroit to catch The Merry Widow, an opera featuring famed soprano Deborah Voigt and tenor Roger Honeywell, conducted by Gerald Steichen. We had excellent seats (close enough to peer into the orchestra pit!). The excursion marked my first, but surely not my last, visit to the storied Michigan Opera House.
Funny aside: After the mid-afternoon event, I took April home, but we stopped at American Grand Coney for a quick, informal dinner before I dropped her off. I wore grey dress slacks, a burgundy shawl-collar sweater and white shirt with a burgundy paisley tie (same shade as the sweater, mind you). She wore a stunning black-and-white dress. We sat down in the restaurant and the waitress said something to the effect that she’s never seen such well-dressed customers before, a compliment that made my hot dogs extra tasty.
Célébration au manoir Dimondale
But before the opera, I spent the evening with Tony, Jen, Joe, PPQ and The Good Doctor at Dimondale Manor. We first dined at a local roadhouse, then retired to the palatial estate in the sticks for an evening of snacks, Tony-style mixology and darts. The revelry continued until after 3 a.m., but the chance to spend time with such amazing people was well worth suffering through my 7 a.m. alarm. And although I was displaced from The Blue Room, the air mattress in Jen’s office was astonishingly comfortable.
The Community Welcome
On April 6, the board of directors and a few of our anthology authors enjoyed a “community welcome” sponsored by Schuler Books and Music. We had more than 40 attendees and Schuler sold more than half the stock they purchased. The enthusiasm of the SBM team and the way our guests were so engaged with our presentation and the Q&A session really inspired me. We done did good — and my mom and my nephew even made an appearance!
Sic Transit
Seasons change, and people too. I learned of one workplace transition on my way to Philly. Just before that, I learned that my primary section editor at Demand Media Studios was departing. I wish both of them the very best as their careers take exciting new turns — even as I weep to myself over all the forthcoming changes.
Cards Against Humanity … With Thy Family
On the 3rd, I dined with Jen, Dave and Tawnya as we settled up on our arrangements for our forthcoming diving trip to Bonaire later this spring. It’s going to happen! So that was fun. But on my way from Lowell, my brother texted me. That day was his birthday, and he and my sister-in-law and my mother were at mom’s house, enjoying snacks and beer and playing Cards Against Humanity.
I showed up, and had fun — but wow. You learn a lot about people by playing that game. 🙂
… And With Thy Friends
But at the infamous “sushi night” at Steve and Brittany’s — wherein the Lady of the House learned that guzzling an entire bottle of wine on an empty stomach makes for a poor life choice — we also played the game. With a table full of gamers, only one of whom was a paragon of virtue.
Anyway. A quiet(er) week awaits.