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Benchmarks of Value – April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013

Hello everybody:

Events at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, have once again cast in stark relief the perpetual, and crucial, need for skilled and caring healers around the globe, in situations ranging from those of great import and notoriety to the smaller, everyday exchanges between the healers and patients.

As you no doubt know, two bombs went off near the marathon finish line several hours into the race, killing three people and wounding dozens of others, at least eight critically. One of those killed was an 8-year-old boy waiting to congratulate his father at the finish line. The boy’s sister and mother were among those wounded.

As we have witnessed time and again in these tragic situations – and as countless people understandably fled the bomb scene and its human devastation – EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, and police raced toward it, their natural fear of further explosions overcome by an overwhelming desire and commitment to assist those injured by the blasts.

This same sense of caring for others first, regardless of the circumstances, was evident in the emergency rooms and surgical theaters of Boston’s hospitals, as well. Doctors, nurses, and other health practitioners of all kinds worked tirelessly into the night and the next day, some treating relatively minor wounds, others literally saving people’s lives. I was particularly struck by the composure of one surgeon at Mass General, who faced the bright lights and ceaseless questions of a late-evening press conference on Monday with directness and calm, almost offhandedly mentioning that he’d performed six surgeries on bomb victims since the mid-afternoon.

On the faces and in the bearing of the first responders, the physicians, and nurses, the medical support staff, and all who came to the aid of others in Boston Monday, I saw the past, present, and future graduates of WesternU. Though one hopes otherwise, they might one day be called to serve in just such a tragic situation, perhaps more than once. Or fate might never bring such circumstances their way, but instead will ask that in the countless smaller, less public ways patients will need them, they be as skilled, compassionate, committed, and caring as they would be in a crisis.

Regardless, I am confident that our graduates – like the helpers in Boston on Monday – will run toward the challenge.

I hope you will join me in prayer for the victims of this senseless tragedy; for the many family and friends who hold them in their hearts; and for the helpers and healers who stand ready to give them aid and comfort, day and night.

As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU’s Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at ppumerantz@westernu.edu, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.

My best to you all,