Doctor Jo Blondin, outgoing Chancellor of Arkansas Tech, Ozark campus, and incoming President of Clark State Community College in Ohio, and a very good friend, recently articulated her educational philosophy in a videotaped presentation to faculty and administrators at Clark State as part of her interview process for the President’s position. It was part of a more comprehensive explanation of who she is, what she believes in and how she has accomplished so much at such a young age.
For purposes of this website, I wanted to post the part of the video pertaining to her educational philosophy because I believe her points are dead-on and equally applicable to healthcare and mirror 4OurElders’ own healthcare philosophy. You can watch the entire video at https://www.clarkstate.edu/presidental candidate blodin or you can watch just the 4 minute section on her educational philosophy below.
Doctor Blondin’s educational philosophy has 3 key assumptions: First, every student is at risk until they find their place, no matter how qualified they are. Second, all students are entitled to a student-centered approach. Third, the campus Admissions Office is important, but the admissions process really starts with the Financial Aid Office—if you cannot afford the education, all else is irrelevant.
It is easy to see the parallels with healthcare isn’t it? First, all patients, even and sometimes all too often the youngest and healthiest among them (for example, Josie King, see our review of Sorel King’s book on her daughter’s tragic experience at the best hospital in the country), are at risk. Healthcare must recognize this fact and treat every patient accordingly. Second, the patient-centered approach is finally starting to catch fire at healthcare institutions around the country, but with varying degrees of successful implementation. From care to discharge to billing, this seemingly simple and “only way to go” approach to healthcare is decades late in coming and a shameful commentary on the industry just now getting around to putting the patient first. Finally, we all know that if you cannot pay, you don’t get care or you get it only until the life-threatening crisis has been stabilized and you can be discharged. Don’t have insurance, don’t have money and don’t have a severe emergency, you don’t get care. While it seems your condition should be your admission ticket, like with education as noted by Doctor Blondin, the real admission ticket to a hospital--sadly for so many-- is financial.
Thank you Doctor Blondin and good luck to you, Andy and Helena in your new home. The people at Clark State are lucky indeed.