Louisville Medicine Volume 67, Issue 4 - Page 6

LEADERSHIP LOUISVILLE: A YEAR OF EXPERIENCING THE UNEXPECTED P articipation in Leadership Louisville is typically a rite of passage for the President-Elect of GLMS. The Leadership Louisville program is designed to educate and prepare participants for their role as community leaders. Members of the class, of all cultures and backgrounds, are selected from throughout the city, from different neighborhoods, education, training and job experiences. At first blush, I was taken aback as those of us in health care, particularly physicians, tend to gravitate and participate in groups or meetings with other providers. How often had I participated in activities outside my ken? Also, I freely admitted my concern about the time commitment. I would need to be out of my office two full days in August and then one full day each month through the following May. As I am in solo practice, this would necessitate coverage which might be difficult, as my colleagues are all busy with their own patients. I forged ahead in spite of these concerns, and thus, I want to share some highlights from the “year of experiencing the unexpected.” Our inaugural Leadership Louisville retreat was at the Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel in Lexington, Ky. We participated in several team building exercises such as the “marshmallow challenge,” which forced us to build something out of spaghetti and marshmallows. Our team actually won because our structure didn’t fall over! The second day was an activity called SlMSOC or “Simulated Society,” a social equivalency exercise. Because I am sworn to the “SlMSOC Code of Silence,” I cannot reveal what the activity specifically entailed, but I recall at the time I was not very enamored. I came away somewhat irritated which I learned later was exactly the intended and expected result. The purpose, I now see, was to make us uncomfortable; to force us to 4 LOUISVILLE MEDICINE begin seeing situations differently. Had it not been for Dr. Bob Couch’s encouragement to stick with it, I might have dropped out, missing what turned out to be an unbelievable, interesting and enjoyable ride with my classmates. Following our opening retreat, our next month was entitled “Discovering Louisville.” We learned about the history of Louisville neighborhoods from Dr. Tom Owen, a former city councilman and an archivist at the University of Louisville. In small groups, we explored different areas of the city to discover specific neighborhoods, businesses and social histories. My group explored the neighborhoods around Churchill Downs and Iroquois Park. Following a debrief, Joshua Poe, a local urban design consultant, gave a lecture about redlining. I listened with disbelief about this discriminatory practice of “fencing off ” metropolitan districts, allowing banks to avoid investments based on community demographics; in other words, the active practice of financial and racial segregation. This explains how our city, and many others, became segregated. The redlining maps of Louisville from the 1930’s and 40’s that Mr. Poe uncovered were startling and disturbing. Other highlights from the year included a visit to the UPS World Port on our “Fueling the Economic Engine Day.” The technology UPS has at the World Port is both prescient and innovative. During our “Caring for Our Own Day” visiting nonprofit organizations, I toured the Family Community Clinic in their new facility in the old St. Joseph school. The clinic provides care for numerous patients without access to health care. (Interestingly, several of these patients I ultimately took care of via Surgery on Sunday Louisville.) Other significant sessions during the year included visiting Seneca High School and hearing from Marty Pollio, the