Heroes and heroines

This morning we celebrated the eighth anniversary of Hospital Universitario del Vinalopó (Elche, Alicante) with an awards ceremony for “The Health Advocate Awards 2018”, an honor that is bestowed every year by the health centre to professionals, institutions and entities in recognition of what they have done with regards to health. This year the work of great professionals has been given recognition: the Cuatro television programme, “Héroes: más allá del deber”, more specifically the producer of Boxfish television, for their thorough, informative work and humane treatment, as well as the protagonists for their invaluable work in the protection and care of people, and Elche’s Association against Gender Violence, for their víctim support and their contribution in terms of preventing and overcoming gender violence. It was a very emotional event in which a special honorary mention was also given to an oncology patient, Ma. Carmen Matarín. This year I wasn’t chosen to award anything but I was responsible for closing this emotive event. This was the speech that I delivered.

“Distinguished Authorities, dear Ramón, colleagues and friends.

Thank you to everyone for being here today, on such an important day for the Vinalopó Health Department. I would like to start by giving a big, warm welcome to all the professionals from this department, who are an example to the entire Valencian Community.

I have to acknowledge that being here today, with all of you, ‘recharges my batteries’; and I have to admit….this dynamism that you transmit isn’t just felt by me, it’s a sentiment that is felt by everyone that spends time with you.

If you remember, Centene Corporation’s board of directors wanted to come from The U.S. to meet you and get to know you, and they left the visit feeling enthusiastic. A few weeks ago, Ribera Salud’s board of directors also wanted to meet you, in Alicante, and also left delighted. You gave some superb presentations of all of the projects that you are carrying out and leading with enthusiasm to guarantee quality care of our citizens, as we should. 

Positive energy. That is what you spread and that is what we ask you to spread to society.

Many years ago, in one of my presentations, when people asked me how I thought healthcare was going to be in the 21st century,  I always used to say that it would be based on two concepts: humanization and technology.

And it is true that looking at what you do, looking at all of your work and looking at who you are presenting awards to today brings together both concepts which, in my opinion, should be the basis of the public healthcare that we want.

Humanization is closeness, solidarity, responsibility and vocation; and these awards that you have established, – for the first time in the Valencian Community-, are the values that are sustained and the values that drive us to be better and to give the best ourselves to the society that we serve.

And, on the other hand, technology. Your work, your commitment to society, your innovation and vision of the future, your idea of progress and strong views on quality is what differentiates you. What you do is unique and an example to follow within the public healthcare system.

This distinctiveness is what has allowed you to achieve so much in such a short time. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate you once again for being part of the network of the world’s best hospitals. Getting the Joint Commission in record time was one of your big milestones that put you at the forefront of healthcare, on an international level, amongst the best hospitals in Spain.

Also for being in the top 50 best companies in Spain to work, according to Great Place to Work, and for having signed the second collective agreement unanimously. All of this brings about a humanistic and holistic vision of what our work should be and I encourage you to continue down this path.

I’d also like to congratulate the 2018 Health Advocates: the programme ‘Héroes’, on Cuatro Television, and the President of Elche’s Association against Gender Violence, Marina Marroquí.  You don’t know how much pleasure it gives us to know and recognise the work of people such as yourselves.

At Ribera Salud we feel a great involvement with journalism, since we believe that there are a lot of points in common between the two sectors. Vocational professions, journalists and healthcare workers all work for society; we are public services that strive on a daily basis to give the best service possible to citizens and we should ensure this public service.

We are also especially involved in the detection of abuse. The big challenge this century is to achieve total equality. No excuses. In order to obtain that, it is essential that in a society based on diversity, integration and in one which brings to light any abuse, there is zero tolerance.

With regards to you Ma.Carmen, you are the one who gives meaning to everything that we do. You are proof that the quality and excellence in this organisation are extraordinary.

There is no doubt that the three of you deserve to be recognised as “Health Advocates”.

Welcome home and congratulations”.

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