“The area where we are the greatest is the area in which we inspire, encourage and connect with another human being.”
–Maya Angelou, American civil rights activist, poet and award-winning author
Is it spring yet? Well, not quite. But if you are like me, you are already dreaming of relaxing summer weekends spent with family and friends. We long for warmer weather and longer periods of daylight to enjoy the company of our friends and loved ones. To sit outside. To talk and laugh. To connect.
Never before in our lifetimes has human connection been more important. Throughout the pandemic, we have assembled creatively through Zoom and Teams meetings, a virtual Fireside Chat and more casual online team-building sessions. While not perfect, new technology has helped us build relationships, grow trust and solve some of the biggest challenges of our generation.
But of course there’s more to human connection than virtual meetings. Personal and professional connections provide us with a deeper understanding of one another and other cultures, expanding our ability to be diverse and inclusive. They bond us and help us feel valued. They help us build trust, feel understood and have a true sense of belonging.
And in academic medicine, human connections lead to collaboration, which in turn leads to research breakthroughs, education innovations and improved patient care. Connections take us into the community to reduce health disparities and deliver equitable care. Our connections truly allow us to transform health.
During these remaining winter days, I encourage you to “inspire, encourage and connect with another human being.” You could mentor a co-worker. Help a neighbor. Join a club. Call a friend. Tutor a learner. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Mail a card. Seek out a new collaborator. Help someone feel valued. Let them know they belong.
I feel deeply connected at Ohio State, and I hope you do too. I value you, and I am thrilled you are on our team!
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