Reflections on a Joyous and Meaningful Whirlwind

By Jessica Speas posted 09-12-2023 11:55


Hold On

When John Lennon wisely crafted the lyrics “Life is what happens when your busy making other plans,” he probably never realized it would find its way into my final blog as your VHMA president. That aside, he was spot on. Looking back at my past two years in this leadership role, I would have to describe it as a “joyous and meaningful whirlwind.” 

While my past blogs have been a tell-all journey of the ups and downs of my professional life as a Hospital Administrator, it seems only fitting that my last blog reflects on all I have witnessed within VHMA during my tenure as president. Quite honestly, it’s been a sight to behold.

When I was installed in 2021, VHMA was pulling itself out of the pandemic, and our members were struggling with significant workforce and operational challenges. VHMA assessed this new, post-pandemic landscape and true to its mission – recognized the necessity of providing its managers with the education and resources they needed to address it.

And, oh, the initiatives that followed! Some of my favorites are the Critical Issues Summit on workforce challenges, a published white paper based on that event, the Organizational Diagnosis and Design Toolkit, and the Rising Manager Training Program. And that is just to name a few.

Above all the initiatives, there is something else that VHMA provided that has been truly magical for me – my “VHMA people.” I can honestly say that my professional pathway was paved by VHMA friends and colleagues who have encouraged me – from day one as a new member – to get more involved, spearhead committees, pursue a board position, and push myself out of my comfort zone. I am glad I listened.

As I craft the last paragraph of my last blog as your president, I want to extend my gratitude to those who guided me on this journey or traveled it with me:  Debbie Hill, an amazing friend and mentor, VHMA’s visionary Board of Directors, VHMAs talented staff and the VHMA members who inspire me daily. I also think it’s only fitting to end with a song lyric (as I often do) that captures what’s in my heart and head.

Thanks to The Beatles for this one. “I know I'll never lose affection for people and things that went before. I know I'll often stop and think about them. In my life, I love you more.” 

Thank you, VHMA!

Jessica Speas, CVPM, SPHR, PHR-ca, SHRM, CCFP
VHMA President

1 comment



09-14-2023 14:20

You made me tear up. VHMA peeps have had my back for 25 years!