Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.

The above quotation was a riff on a statement from George Bernard Shaw that was slightly modified by Massachusetts Senator Bobby Kennedy during a speech at Kansas University.

Ah, but the Kennedy family and their Camelot legend – etching the Kennedy years in the public memory as a magical era that will never be repeated – have a recurring theme for West Virginia. John Kennedy campaigned in West Virginia in 1960, and many think that West Virginia won the election for him. During that campaign, my Dad followed Kennedy, and one of his favorite possessions was a photograph of him and JFK, who signed it, “To Don, His Mother always knew, John F. Kennedy.”

It was another time in US history. 

Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.

As we are struggling as a nation with disparity, equality, justice, and an abundance/scarcity mentality, I propose West Virginia can be the place of change and leadership.

Why not West Virginia as a beacon for the world?

Why not West Virginia as an economic engine in health and healthcare?

I met recently with Dr. Joe Shapiro, dean of the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (pictured), and members of his leadership team; Dr. Craig Boisvert, dean of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine; and Mr. David Ramsey, CEO of Charleston Area Medical Center. All are leaders of critical components of our healthcare delivery system across the state.

All of these talented professionals see the same thing – together we are stronger and more effective than separate. Coming together as One.

One West Virginia.

This is amplified by our state and national leaders – an abundance mentality instead of a scarcity mentality. Coming together, focusing on One West Virginia to tangibly improve the health of our citizens.

  • First, by creating access and expert care for all West Virginians who need help medically by delivering support for all providers in the state.
  • Next, by transforming community health to make West Virginia a truly healthy state, conquering addiction (drug, tobacco, and alcohol); food (less sugar and carbohydrates); and exercise (12,000 steps a day).
  • Finally, by making West Virginia a destination place – not only for the beautiful mountains, rivers, lakes, and natural beauty, but also for the intellectual capital and turnaround in healthcare costs and outcomes. A bright economic future.

Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.

Why not, West Virginia?