In keeping with the theme of this issue of Health Progress, "In Our Hands: Changing Ourselves, Our Communities, Our Nation," the editors commissioned freelance writers to profile some of the nation's most inspiring change makers in health care and related social justice work. In choosing whom to profile, we asked colleagues for names and came up with enough worthy candidates to fill the pages of several issues. For the moment, we invite our readers to rejoice with us in the work of just five, whose profiles appear on the following 10 pages. They are Bill Thomas, MD, dedicated to revolutionizing the way our society views and cares for its oldest members; Sr. Mary Scullion, RSM, widely admired as a tireless advocate for the homeless (and recently named by Time magazine to its 100 "most influential" list); Gary Cohen, determined to make health care more environmentally friendly by eliminating dangerous waste; Brian Hurley, MD, a young physician fighting to reduce conflicts of interest in medicine; and Molly J. Coye, MD, noted for her efforts to shape the ways in which technology will be used.
These are people whose efforts are improving our communities and our nation and who serve as inspirationto us all.
Bill Thomas, MD
"People of all ages will live better lives when we succeed in bringing elders back to the heart of our society."
Sr. Mary Scullion, RSM
"Many people think that people who are homeless are very different from them, but over the years I've learned that it's not 'There but for the grace of God go I,' but rather it's 'There go I.'"
"Other industries consider pollution to be a cost of doing business. But the health sector knows that you can't poison people if your mission is to heal them."
Brian Hurley, MD
"Patients now feel they cannot trust their doctors because of the business practices of the pharmaceutical companies."
Molly J. Coye, MD
"Many say the easiest part of an (electronic medical record) system is installing it. The harder part is getting doctors and nurses and everyone else to change the way they work."
Copyright © 2009 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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