“Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
– Leo Buscaglia, best-selling author and professor of special education and counseling

Have you ever been the recipient of pay-it-forward generosity at a drive-thru? Did you, in turn, pay for the car behind you? I am guessing you did — as the people who work at The Ohio State University College of Medicine are naturally generous and caring.

In fact, academic health care is a pay-it-forward profession. Every day, we take care of others, conduct research to benefit others and prepare the next generation of health care providers to ensure our caring work continues for generations to come. As faculty, staff and learners at Ohio State, we work together with passion to transform the health of our communities.

According to the Washington Examiner, the nation’s record pay-it-forward sequence occurred at a Minnesota Dairy Queen, where 900 vehicles kept the chain going over the course of more than two days. That’s pretty impressive, but I would like to point out that you have been paying it forward in enormous ways for more than 650 days as we power through a pandemic.

And you are doing it for the sake of other people. You care. We care. Your incredible care is healing our communities.

During this busy month of holidays, it might be difficult to remember to also care for our co-workers and for ourselves. Please be sure to take a moment to check in on a colleague today. Your act of caring truly has the power to “turn a life around.”

I want you to know that I care deeply about you. You have been paying it forward all year, and I am very grateful. My holiday wish for you is this: May you find time for rest and reflection in coming days. May you be filled with gratitude and optimism for the positive aspects of your lives. And may you find meaning, purpose, joy and hope in your daily work.

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy a wonderful holiday season, and enter the new year refreshed and excited for what is to come in 2022.


Carol Bradford, MD, MS
Dean, College of Medicine
Leslie H. and Abigail S. Wexner Dean’s Chair in Medicine
Vice President for Health Sciences, Wexner Medical Center