Thursday, October 3, 2013


(This would be the start of a great #hcsm joke)

@hjluks walks into the lobby of a posh New York athletic club. I am sitting by the elevators. While he approches, I marvel at how easily I recognize him. It's not that he looks so much like his twitter avatar, I just feel like I've met him before. We shake hands and embrace.

The conversation begins as if we we starting where we left off last time. But there was no last time. We exchange pleasantries and go right to substance. I look over at the elevator bank wondering if we should go up to the conference room, or just stand in the walkway. And talk forever.

Eventually we make our way to the tenth floor. Over bagels and fruit we welcome each participant as they arrive. Some of us have met before, others have not. Our content, however, belays a sense of commonality. We may be diverse in experience and profession, but we share certain ties.

The meeting has it's ebb and flow. I am beginning to form archetypes in my mind of the participants. To my right is @dlschermd. He lends me his marker from time to time (mine is barely functional).

@dlschermd reminds me of the brilliant professor that we all had in college, but better. He's neither bumbling nor arrogant. His generosity of thought far outweighs his freedom with writing utensils. Measured and insightful, the room becomes silent when he speaks.

Across from me sits @joshuaschwimmer. I can feels his gaze upon me when I speak. He is concentrating, dissecting. When he raises his voice to reply, I am completely sure that the first sentence will have the word "app" in it. And I'm right, but what comes next is often brilliant and throws my opinions completely on their side. Sometimes he says something and I think he is completely off base, till I realize that he is about ten steps ahead of me and I hadn't thought it out completely yet.

@PhilBaumann is calm and collected. He forgives me multiple times for interrupting without so much as making a grimace. He waits until there is a lull in the conversation and then proceeds forward. Although I have no basis for my opinion, I get the feeling that below the surface there is a ferocity. Controlled, tamed, but deadly when necessary. I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of a heated argument with him.

Through @nickdawson (and @PhilBaumann)I can feel the patient advocacy shine through. @nickdawson is one of those rare people who speaks of ACOs and value based purchasing not with the grime of consumerism dripping from his lips, but with a zeal for providing more services for less cost for those in need. He later told me that as a hospital administrator he would sit in various places in his facility with a laptop and observe. I bet no one ever asked him to do this.

@hjluks sits towards the front. Calm. Engaged. He talks exactly the way he blogs. Disparate ideas become cohesive thoughts, wrapped in a bow and presented to us in such orderly fashion that one wonders if the problems of the world are really so unsolvable.

And all these fine gentleman tolerate my verbose and often repetitive opinions. They are confident in who they are.

The meeting ends and I lament that I have to say goodbye to Howard, David, Joshua, Phil, and Nick. It's been such a gratifying conversation.

I'm hoping I'll be lucky enough to get to drop the @ sign again soon.

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