Friday, February 20, 2009

The Blessing/Curse of Scripps College

Towards the end of the day yesterday, I found myself in a very interesting conversation with two directors in my division. Our conversation ended up on the topic of whether the work we do here at Hopkins is on the philanthropic side of the spectrum, helping consumers be more aware of how and where they can get quality health care or if it's all about profit for the Institution.

My boss (Director 1) used to work at Big Bad Insurance Company and is on my side, the side that says "At the end of the day, we do good work here." Yes, we get paid to promote the services that make money, but it's not all about profit margin. (Director 1's boss at Big Bad Insurance Company used to say "If there's no margin, there's no mission").

Director 2 has worked at Hopkins for a really long time and is more on the business side of things. Not a bad thing, for sure. She does her job very well and promotes the clinical departments on a fee-for-service basis, so the margin has a huge impact on the work she does and vice versa.

My point here is that I'm glad that, when our division split, I ended up on the side with Director 1, promoting the institution as a whole and our affiliate businesses. I go home at night feeling good about what I do during the day. I prefer to think that promoting our service centers throughout the Baltimore area helps people who live toward suburbia and are scared of ghetto downtown Baltimore be more aware that they can get the same, Hopkins quality care closer to their homes. They don't have to choose sub-standard care so they can stay in their comfort zone. I prefer to think of it this way, rather than the ugly truth that we make more money when people go to one of these clinics than at the main hospital downtown.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baltimore is not my friend

Well, it's official. I've been working at JH longer than I've been at any other job and even longer than I was a full time grad student. Which also means I've lived within the Baltimore city limits longer than any other city. I have really mixed feelings about this. At the end of the day, I like Baltimore. The parts I don't like aren't really Baltimore's fault though. I hate the winter weather, which is much worse in a lot of other cities. People here can be super rude, which again could be worse (NYC).

Over the past couple of weeks, however, Baltimore has really pushed me to edge of hating it. First, my neighbor hit my car and then did not leave a note. Hello! Did he think I would notice?? Then, over this past weekend, my iPod was stolen out of my car. And after several days of warmish weather, we're back to cold with snow/slush in the forecast.

My mom would tell you that February has never been the greatest month for me. An interesting theory, that I didn't always necessarily believe, but I'm starting to come around on it. Only 11 days until this cursed month is over...

And yes, I'm aware that this is not positive or optimistic, but happy thoughts can only take you so far. However, in keeping with my resolution, I will end on an upswing: work is going really well after a several week downturn. Yay.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hello again, hello

Hello again my long forgotten blog! I haven't actually forgotten, but have just been either too busy or too bored with life to post. I do promise to post some exciting happenings soon, though!