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A Capital Visit: It’s Your Turn Next

Linda Rosenberg

Former President and CEO, National Council for Behavioral Health

A Capital Visit: It’s Your Turn Next

October 16, 2013 | Our Nation's Capital | Comments
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World population recently hit 7 billion — and 5 billion have mobile phones. More than 1 billion people today use Facebook — which means, if Facebook were a country it would be the third most populated. 200,000 text messages are sent every second.

Like most of you, I spend considerable time with one digital device or another, observing the world and making connections. But in the middle of a Columbus Day weekend trip to Disney  — taking what I’m sure would have been the most adorable photos of my grandchildren thundering down Splash Mountain, I dropped my iPhone into a pool of water and it became history. No calls, no emails, no texts — digitally stranded! But I lived to write about it.

In the U.S., 60% of consumers agree that technology has made us feel more connected while 40% of consumers report that “Technology has made us feel more isolated from each other.”

The National Council has been as early adopter of technology and the full array of social media vehicles: understanding the marketing power, the patient empowerment possibilities, and the potential to replace or at least extend the reach of staff. But the power of face-to-face communication was driven home to me last week when Shelly Chandler, Executive Director of the Iowa Association of Community Providers, spent a day at the National Council offices.

We discussed the policy and practice arena both in DC and in Iowa. We explored the challenges ahead and how we, as associations, can best serve and offer leadership to our mutual member organizations and to the larger stakeholder community, helping navigate the turbulence of healthcare. It was mutually enlightening and refreshing. What we accomplished that day could simply not have happened via phone, emails, listserve discussions, or even video chats.

Shelly’s time with us reminded me of another member visit. Tony Rothchild, President and CEO of CommonGround in Michigan, came to DC on a sabbatical and spent two weeks with at the National Council. From Hill visits and staff meetings to baseball games and insider tours of DC, Tony’s time with us was informative and fun for him. And equally important, what we learned from Tony continues to shape our member benefit offerings to this day.

I’m frequently on the road, as are many of our senior leaders and consulting staff, often speaking at regional and local conferences and events. And we see many of you at the National Council Conference and Hill Day. But we very much welcome your visits to D.C. It’s a great way to leverage National Council membership.

Tweet (@linda_rosenberg) or email (lindar@thenationalcouncil.org) to let me know you’re coming. We have a lot to learn from each other. So do plan a visit soon.