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“Driving Change” is our overarching convention theme that we build on each year. When you are busy Driving Change in healthcare delivery, there aren’t a lot of breaks.

In just the normal day-to-day of Urgent Care, you are anticipating, meeting, and exceeding the needs of your patients. You are doing the same for your occupational medicine employer customers. You are doing the same for your colleagues. You are doing the same for your strategic partners.

Add onto that the internal calling that most of us have in Urgent Care: We want to make healthcare even better than it is now. It’s the whole reason Urgent Care came to be. We saw gaps and saw ways to fill them, and we keep seeing gaps and keep working to fill them.

You also have a unique ability that most working in healthcare do not have, and that’s the ability to quickly and skillfully adapt to change. You not only adapt to change, you see ways to make things better and—most importantly—you actively pursue making those changes. Most segments of healthcare take a long time to do that, which is why they look at Urgent Care and see a model.

These are the reasons why Urgent Care and all of you working in Urgent Care end up (or should end up!) in the driver’s seat.

However, that isn’t how it always happens. Sometimes, we are forced into the back seat, and we can end up being back seat drivers! It’s hard to remain quiet when you can see the pathways forward so clearly, and it’s important for patients and communities that we do not remain quiet.

These are the reasons why driving change is an essential requirement in Urgent Care and also the reasons why it requires a lot of energy—a lot of energy. This year at the Urgent Care Convention, April 13-17 in Las Vegas, we are making sure that your reserves are replenished and your batteries are recharged. Of course, how that looks will be different for different people, and as we’re planning, we’re taking it all into account.

Maybe for you it means restoring faith in yourself and what you know to be right. Maybe it means connecting with people who understand what you are trying to do at your organization and can give you a fresh perspective. It could mean going to an event you didn’t have to plan and eating wonderful meals without having to worry about doing the dishes. Or it could mean having experts answer your questions so you can make sure you know your stuff and know it well. Perhaps it’s finding a space that isn’t “go, go, go,” so you can pause and think about the hard questions. And maybe it means going to an awesome party and dancing it all out. You deserve all of this, and we want to give it to you. And we will. The more we thought about how we wanted to keep driving change this year, the more we realized that since 2019, you have not really had a break to truly recharge. We hope that the 2024 Urgent Care Convention will be where you give yourself that gift. I very much hope to see you in Las Vegas in April. Registration is open now, and if you take a few minutes to see what we have planned, I think you’re going to like it. Happy new year and thank you, as always, for all of the energy you are giving to making healthcare better for everyone.

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Recharge Your Batteries

Lou Ellen Horwitz, MA

Director of Staff Development & Communication at MultiCare Retail Health & Community-Based Care, Chief Operating Officer at the Urgent Care Association