Greater Things Are Yet To Come

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Meese, ShellyBy Shelly L. Meese, MHA, CRA 

There is absolutely no substitute for the synergy that is created when surrounded by other AHRA members. Whether you are a rookie member or the Derek Jeter of AHRA, you can expect to leave AHRA’s 42nd Annual Meeting feeling motivated and better qualified to hit every curve ball thrown at you. Because that is what you do – every day.

Thinking of highlights from past meetings I’ve attended, the outstanding keynote speakers are always memorable and appear high up on my top 10 list. Norm Bossio spoke in 2006 in Las Vegas on leading and motivating teams during difficult times. Today I can still recall a few strategies he introduced. He provided effective pointers on how to deal with difficult people through stories about his dog named Shemp and about how he bribed his grandson to walk down the aisle as a ring bearer with Skittles. Life does bring interesting challenges, which Norm referred to as “icebergs.” We can never avoid being smacked in the face by these challenges, but we can choose not to sink. I remember muttering under my breath, “Gee, Bossio you’ve never been to my research lab and dealt with the icebergs that I do.” But I was wrong. I left that single session motivated on so many levels that I believed I would not only survive, but thrive.

For those who are hesitating and have not completed your registration yet, there is still time. Like always, this year’s Annual Meeting is packed with sessions on leadership development, healthcare reform, patient care topics, clinical improvement, and patient safety. Topics are always relevant, fresh, and fun, with opportunities for networking that will be the boost in the arm you need – that we all need.

If not for yourself, attend for those you mentor and coach. Attend for your patients who have just been told they have a terminal illness and can’t even remember where they parked their car. Attend, and you can be assured you will leave motivated and determined to motivate others. You may leave DC exhausted, but you are guaranteed to leave as a motivated leader for your healthcare environment knowing that greater things are yet to come.

What was the first Annual Meeting you ever attended? Send your story to Kerri Hart-Morris (, and it could be published here too!

Shelly L. Meese, MHA, CRA is the director of the clinical research lab at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. She can be reached at

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