Highlights of the Week

Well, I’m continuing my tradition of writing a weekly blog post on the plane.  It has been a great week.  There is too much to say and I’ve waited too long into the flight to write much, but here are some highlights:

I am a big fan of Southwest, it’s service, and it’s rewards program.  I plan (hopefully) to continue to fly on Southwest as long as it is convenient.

I do not recommend staying at the Doubletree near the French Quarter in New Orleans.  I do recommend staying at the Hilton in Baton Rouge.  The people there are very friendly.

I spend the week in a mix of shadowing people in meetings with doctors, working out of a hotel room, working out of our Baton Rouge office, sitting in on other meetings, etc.  I am getting much more comfortable with reaching out to providers and actually know answers to questions, though I still have a lot to learn.

Next week it looks like I will be back in Louisiana.  I will probably work out of the Baton Rouge office on Tuesday, visit providers on Wednesday and Thursday, and fly back to St. Louis on Friday.  These will be my first solo visits!  I need to review some things but I hope I’m ready!  I’ll be responsible for outreach to Rural Health Clinics.  I spent some time this week developing a list of providers to visit.  Tomorrow I’ll try to plot out what those visits look like and figure out travel.

I really like my co-workers!  It’s a great group of people working in Louisiana.  We spent several evenings together and most of that time was spent laughing,  I hope that feeling continues and we continue to spend time together outside of the office.  I firmly believe that also helps us in the office.

We went to some regional restaurants and enjoyed the food.

Today, we had a meeting that lasted two hours, but I learned a lot.  I also knew some answers to questions J.  For the first time, I gave out business cards and have follow-up to do – it’s like I’m a real, contributing person now!

This afternoon, we got together at house of one of the few members of our team who is actually from Louisiana.  It was quite nice and we enjoyed lunch together.  I had to leave for a flight, but many of the others stayed to play golf.

Tomorrow I’ll be in the office, but I am leaving early to head to Atlanta for my friend Josh’s wedding.  Josh and I studied abroad in Israel together and I am quite excited!  I know his fiancé, Sarah, as well and they are great together.  The weekend will fly by (and it will be like I was never in St. Louis).  Nevertheless, I’m very excited!

Mid-Week Update

I’m writing this on the plane again.  That seems to be happening a lot lately.  Maybe a new trend?  I should really get better at posting during the week… hopefully I’ll be able to get into a groove/pattern with my travel and make that start happening.

Last weekend was great.  I was able to explore areas of St. Louis that I had really wanted to see.  Friday night I went out with some friends around Laclede’s Landing in downtown St. Louis.  I found some great places and a club and was able to enjoy music and dance – I was really looking for that.  Saturday night I explored the Delmar Loop at night with some friends.  It wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped, but still nice.  Sunday I played disc golf with a friend at a part nearby, which was a lot of fun.  I definitely have room for improvement though.

I spent the week working in Baton Rouge, LA.  I like the office there and have now met the Louisiana Healthcare Connections staff, with the exception of some consultants and contractors.  I definitely have a lot to learn still but things are beginning to make sense and fit together.  My projects are expanding and I am starting to talk to providers on the phone – although if they ask me questions, I still often don’t know the answers.  That will come though.

This healthcare business is extremely complicated.  There are so many moving parts and I am glad to be able to see what that looks like “on the front line” – i.e. in the field.

It seems though that many providers are missing what many today to be standard pieces of a business – most specifically email.  I have also been told by some that they do not have email at home or work.  My worldview is certainly challenged by this and I need to make sure that I understand context and culture to effectively serve the people with whom I am working.

I’m a bit surprised to say this, but so far I actually like Baton Rouge.  People are just incredibly friendly.  Even people at bus stops say hello as you walk by!  I stood at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center.  I was a big fan, mainly because of the people.  It did have free internet and bottled water, which was nice though.  If I am there for a while, I hope to explore the city somewhat, even though I also kind of like spending time in the hotel.

I still need to convince myself to go to bed earlier.  I wish I wasn’t tired so much.  This week was better, but I need to get better about that.  I also need to start going to the gym.

Tonight, I am going to the baseball game.  I won tickets from Centene!  I am little worried that I will miss picking them up though because my flight is late.  Hopefully it works out!