May 10, 2018

Why We Value Role Models

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to go visit family for a very pleasant four-day weekend. So you know, my side of the family all reside in the great state of Minnesota, where winters can sometimes last for very long periods of time (forever comes to mind).

This trip, however, seemed a bit different. Perhaps because we compressed what normally is a week’s worth of visits into three days. Or maybe because we had so much catching up to do on life’s happenings (sports, politics, kids, grandkids, work, health). Or maybe because it’s just good practice to be around family, or perhaps all of the above. Regardless of the reason(s), we had an amazing visit to help celebrate, my mother’s 80th birthday! Which is why I chose this topic for my Executive Blog — “Why We Value Role Models.”

Tim Hill, Vice Chancellor for Regional Programs

Tim Hill, Vice Chancellor for Regional Programs

So a little bit about my mother: 80 years young, in spirit and more importantly, her attitude towards life. A 25-year breast cancer survivor who, when diagnosed, didn’t have all of the modern day advances in cancer treatment available to her that we’re so fortunate to have today. A mother of five children (three boys, two girls, about six years between first and last), who has always worked for the betterment of her kids and never for her own relative position in life.I’m am absolutely convinced that everyone who reads this blog can think of a person or persons who have served them well as a role model — maybe a father, a boss, a sibling, a co-worker, or church pastor perhaps. Most of us don’t even need to think very long or hard about those who have influenced and helped shape us into the person we are today. And for those few (I hope) who are reading this and can’t think of that special role model, I find that, well, regrettable. Which brings me back to my 80-year-old mother, who, if she knew that she was the subject of my blog, would certainly be discussing with her attorney my status in the will (just kidding).

She is a loyal and dedicated patient of the Mayo Health System in Rochester, Minnesota, with regular checkups. And because they have earned her trust over the years, she supports Mayo Health in a variety of ways, both with her patient loyalty and with her charitable giving.

Several years ago, my mother had bilateral knee replacements, (<I year apart) which her only regret today was not having the surgery sooner. What you also need to know is that my mother walks (like take your breath away walks) five miles every day, regardless of conditions. So two new knees for her were the equivalent of a new set of Michelin tires on your vehicle. Nothing, and I mean nothing gets in the way of her commitment to good health, with healthy eating habits, her commitment to exercise, her intent to live an active lifestyle (mind and body), and live life to its fullest. I could easily write a book and not just a blog about the many wonderful attributes of my role model mother.

Which then brings me back home, to my reasonably simple life, to my Arkansas family and my UAMS colleagues and why we all need to assume our role model status and responsibility to help others, so we can make a difference for someone special in our circle of life/influence, just like my Mom has done for 80 amazing years!