Health, Gratitude, and Radiance This Holiday Season: Thoughts From the CEO, December 2023

Greetings CHPA Community,

In the heart of the holiday season, a time traditionally associated with gratitude and light, the concept of value-based care takes on significance. As families gather and communities come together to celebrate, the principles of healthcare that prioritize patient outcomes, satisfaction, and overall well-being align well with the spirit of the season.

Gratitude, a cornerstone of holiday celebrations, extends naturally to the healthcare system when patients feel their well-being is genuinely valued. Through your value-based, clinically integrated care model, you focus not only on treating illnesses but also on fostering positive patient experiences. The emphasis on personalized, compassionate care aligns with the essence of gratitude, creating a healthcare environment where patients feel seen, heard, and appreciated.

The theme of light, a symbolic representation of hope and positivity during the holidays, finds a parallel in the transformative potential that is revealed by your mission and commitment. Focusing on outcomes and patient satisfaction illuminates a path toward a healthcare system that prioritizes the well-being of individuals and communities. It serves as a beacon, guiding care teams toward practices that enhance the quality of life for patients and promote healthier communities.

As we celebrate the holidays this year, I recall two interesting and important facts about Colorado holidays.

  • First, while about 90% of Coloradans will be celebrating Christmas, that means about 1 in 10 of your neighbors could be celebrating other holidays. That may be a small number, but as we continue to learn, inclusion and representation matter in both concrete and symbolic ways. There are at least ten holidays in December that you, your friends, or your neighbors might be celebrating, including Rohatsu (Bodhi Day), Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, and Kwanzaa.
  • And second, Christmas is itself a cultural mashup of a holiday. December 25th comes from the Roman celebration of the birth of Mithra, the Sun god. The Christmas Tree comes from Germanic pagan tribes. Santa Claus is a distillation of many European stories: Kris Kringle, St. Nicholas, Jultomten, Père Noël, Sinter Klaas, etc. (The modern image of Santa comes from the Coca-Cola Company around 1881.) Christians bring the birth of Christ and the Nativity. Mistletoe is from the Druids. Yuletide and yule logs are from the Norse pagans (and made of wood, not cake). And ugly sweaters come from American & Canadian TV.

However you celebrate, I wish you health, gratitude, and radiance. Please know how grateful CHPA is for the powerful ways you bring all those things to people who need it the most across our network.

Ben Wiederholt, Interim CEO