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We thrive together at ASHRM

ASHRM President Tatum O'Sullivan

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb

Reflecting on 2023, I am reminded of the feelings of passion and purpose that reenergized me when I returned home from the 2023 ASHRM Annual Conference. The event in Minneapolis was a success for so many reasons. For me the highlight is always reconnecting with “my people.” There is nothing better than being in the company of others who understand the challenges risk professionals encounter routinely. Sharing our stories left me feeling rejuvenated and reminded me why I love being a risk professional. It is easy to forget what initially attracted us to the risk profession, when we are pulled in many different directions in our expanding roles.

Being part of the ASHRM community means we are only a call, email or exchange post away from support, information and understanding. I am so grateful for our members and for those who have paved the way for us to collaborate more frequently at a local level. Over the past year, a chapter from Iowa started to take shape, and, in such a short time, they have already hosted educational sessions. At the annual conference I was able to meet with a group of leaders who were brainstorming the creation of another chapter in Idaho. I later learned that several other states are also exploring the development of local chapters.

This is an exciting time to be a risk professional, and it is inspiring to see the motivation of others to build connections locally. The individuals behind this work are creating a legacy as well as inspiring those of us who have been around a while to remember how important our network is for sharing ideas and practices, helping to stay current on trends and best practices to address them, and supporting each other through the highs and lows of the demands of our roles. No one else truly understands the rigors of what we do like another risk professional.

I have been fortunate to watch ASHRM’s 2023 president, Rebecca Cady, in action. Whether it was keeping us focused during a board meeting, advocating for the needs of the membership or facilitating much needed discussions during the annual conference about third victim impact, she always hits it out of the park. I want to thank Becky for her leadership. She helped to guide the work on the strategic plan that has the three aims of advancing risk professionals, elevating the profession and establishing authority in the field. This strategy is vital to highlighting the importance of risk professionals in health care organizations and why there needs to be a seat at the table for them when organizational and strategic decisions are made. 

During the chapter leader workshop at the annual conference, the task force chair, Constance Endelicato, wove in a Mary Tyler Moore theme since we were in Minneapolis where the show took place. Constance walked us through the Mary Tyler Moore theme song which early in the series ended with “you might just make it after all.” By the end of our activity, she shared how the lyrics of the theme song evolved over time into “you’re going to make it after all.” I am taking that energy into this new year knowing that WE will make it after all, and, if we can’t do it alone, we have a network of 5,600 strong to help us. 


2024 President, American Society for Health Care Risk Management

Tatum O’Sullivan is currently Director of Safety, Risk and Patient Family Relations for Mass General Brigham Medical Group in Massachusetts. Prior to transitioning to the ambulatory setting, she served as Director of Risk Management at an HCA hospital in New Hampshire and has worked in health care risk management since 2005.

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