Louisville Medicine Volume 70, Issue 1 - Page 6

FROM the PRESIDENT by VALERIE F . BRIONES-PRYOR , MD , MHA , SFHM , FACP

GETTING TO KNOW ME

Mabuhay !* Let me start by saying thank you to all of you for supporting GLMS over the years . These past two years have been a challenge to all of us . However , challenges bring opportunity , and these past two years have given us , GLMS , the opportunity to look at our past , evaluate where we are in the present and ask ourselves where we want to be for the future .

As your new President , it will be my job , along with my fellow GLMS officers , our Board and the GLMS staff to lead us in this journey of positioning GLMS for the new normal , whatever that may be . Though I know many of you by name , I would be remiss to assume you know who I am .
So , I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you because once you get to know me , then you ’ ll understand how I am as a leader .
Here are the top 5 things to know about me , in no particular order :
1 . My family is my life . My parents are physicians , Drs . Voltaire and Fe Briones , who have been practicing in the Louisville community for over 45 years . I am one of three children , and I am the middle child . When you ’ re the only girl sandwiched between two brothers , you quickly learn to fend for yourself . My brothers and I fought a lot , but we were also each other ’ s biggest fans . Regardless of all the fights , we were , and still are loyal to one another and to our family . No matter what , family is my backbone . We lost Norman , my older brother , unexpectedly in 2017 . His loss changed me and made me appreciate my family even more . My family has taught me the importance of love , loyalty and commitment , and how valuing those things every day helps me be a better physician and a better leader .
2 . My faith is very important to me . I was raised Catholic and am a product of Catholic education throughout grade school , high school and college . I share this not because I think religion is important , I share this because I believe having faith , whether it be in a structured religion , or just a belief that there is something out there bigger than us , is important to me , and is important in how I lead . I believe in the power of prayer and good thoughts . I said many times during COVID-19 that my inpatient treatment for patients was oxygen and prayers . I have found that most patients appreciate that I pray for them and in my own times of need , have asked for prayers from others . I have always respected that medicine is just as much an art as it is a science , and that the gift to care for others in the way that we do is a gift given to me by a power that I will never understand , but that I am thankful for each day .
3 . I sing . I wasn ’ t always a singer and started out playing the piano when I was younger , but I didn ’ t love it . In eighth grade , I tried out for the Christmas choir , and my music teacher told me that singing was not my forte and I should stick to the piano . Talk about a slap in the face . The next year , I went to high school where freshman chorus was required . On the first day of chorus class , the choral director made each of us stand in front of the room and sing “ Happy Birthday .” I was mortified , but I did it . She looked at me and told me I had a beautiful voice . That ’ s all it took . From that moment , I sang in chorus and the advanced choirs in high school . I sang in choir in college , sang in a jazz vocal quintet and performed in musicals . In medical school , I returned to my church to sing for mass . I sang whenever I could and continue to sing at my church today . I have become more comfortable singing in front of large assemblies at church than giving speeches . I share this because every time I sing , it ’ s a reminder to me of the importance of words : how encouraging words can change a person ’ s life , how negative words leave a lasting impression .
4 . I love to run , and for those who really know me , they know I like to run a lot . I have done countless half-marathons and marathons , and even dabbled for a time in triathlon . My husband can tell you that when I ’ m injured and can ’ t run , I get grumpy , or I start to shop a lot . Since I didn ’ t run growing up , my family thought I was crazy , especially when I told them I was running
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