Imagine it is the year 2021 and while we may not have fully realized our Centennial Vision (it IS an aspirational vision of the future after all!) our profession has become much more widely recognized, we've become more politically savvy and active (e.g. powerful), our researchers and scholars are cranking out the evidence to support occupational therapy outcomes, our workforce more closely resembles the racial and gender mix of our clients, we collaborate daily with practitioners around the world and are making major strides in meeting the occupational participation needs of society! So, well what else is going on?

Well over at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston the Department of Rehabilitation Services has just been named the Number 1 Department of Rehabilitation on the country by U.S. News and World Report! It has been 8 years since the U.S. Supreme court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and it has been expanded with the ACA Amendments and now all Americans are guaranteed equitable access to basic preventative and wellness care and primary care services. As a result we have saved billions of dollars which are being funneled into health care research..........

Wait! What was that about M.D. Anderson Department of Rehabilitation? They are the Number 1 Rehabilitation Services Department in the Country? How did THAT happen?

Well, that scenario is what I am using with my staff to begin our visioning process for the year 2021. I am asking staff to imagine that it is 10 years from now and we ARE the best rehabilitation department in the country. Further, I am asking them to imagine that our marketing department is going to hang out in our Department for a few days and interview staff to learn how we did it for an article they are going to write. They ask staff members, "What is it about your Department? What did you do to achieve this honor?"

A few of the things I hope we might hear would include:

  • "We communicate openly, honestly and with trust. We support each other and always assume that other staff members are doing their best for their customers and fellow staff members."
  • A culture of performance improvement is pervasive! We are always asking, "How can work smarter AND get better outcomes?!"
  • We are making major contributions to the education of occupational therapy and physical therapy students and practitioners around the world in cancer rehabilitation. Our staff are everywhere at conferences, in journals, and in classrooms."
  • We have fun! Working with persons with cancer can be tough, but we care for them and for each other, and we laugh and find ways to make our work enjoyable, fun and even funny!"
  • We are the employer of choice in Houston, in Texas and around the globe in cancer rehabilitation.

I wonder what my staff will envision? I'll give you an update as we work toward having a draft vision statement for 2021 by the end of May to share with our key stakeholders!