From the Chair  Lawson_Ralph_web 

Ralph Lawson, FHFMA, CPA

As the story is told, a young girl was walking along a beach after a storm, picking up stranded starfish and throwing them into the sea.

Then a passerby asked, "Why are you wasting your time? There are thousands of starfish on this beach. How can you make any difference?" The girl bent down, picked up another starfish, and tossed it back to the safety of the sea. She looked up at the man and replied, "I made a difference to that one!"

With Thanksgiving and the holiday season fast approaching, this is a good time to remember that we each have the power to make a difference in the lives of others. As you read this column, my team from Baptist Health South Florida is making final preparations for Light the Night, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's annual fund-raising walk to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer.

It has been my privilege to serve as chairman of the Miami-Dade Light the Night Walk. At first, I thought fund-raising would be a daunting task, but it was not, due to all the individual initiatives people took when they realized it was for such an important cause. Team leaders and walkers come from all walks of life, and have devoted many hours of their time and energy to raise awareness and funds for blood cancer research. I am grateful not only for their hard work but also for the support of all who helped us exceed our fund-raising goals. We join hundreds of thousands who raise funds for lifesaving research and patient services funded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which has more than $814 million invested in lifesaving research. Every dollar is provided by concerned donors.

In June, when I spoke at ANI: The HFMA National Institute, I said that we can solve our nation's healthcare cost challenges one hospital-even one cost center-at a time. Likewise, we can make a difference by supporting organizations that are working to improve the lives of others-one donation at a time. Do not let the flood of appeals in your mailbox and the media at this time of year overwhelm you. Whether it is a national organization or a local food pantry or homeless shelter, choose a cause you believe in and take action.

To all who have taken the initiative to support the charity of your choice, thank you for your leadership. Although you may never know the individuals you have helped, you can be confident that your contribution makes a difference and that your choice inspires others to do the same.

Leadership Matters!

Publication Date: Thursday, November 01, 2012

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