A recent Keynote presentation for Florida Nurse Practitioners Network Annual Conference in Orlando is one that I won’t easily forget.
What made this program so remarkable has to do with one, very special person. Her name is Dr Loretta Ford. At 96 years young, she wanted to make sure she awoke earlier than usual to attend my Keynote session that morning.
As it turned out, my presentation “Standing in a Future of Possibility; Solving Complex healthcare Problems with Power, Passion and Purpose” was particularly meaningful for her, given that Dr. Ford co-founded the nurse practitioner movement in 1965!
Needless to say, I was honored that this amazing woman, this visionary, pioneer and National Women’s Hall of Fame member made a special trip to hear me speak.
Sharp as ever, and just before I got up to speak, Dr. Ford whispered into my ear, “It takes a special man to get me up and out of bed this early in the morning!”
At one point during my talk it occurred to me to remark that “If any of us had just 1% of Dr. Ford’s passion, vision, and chutzpah,we surely could fulfill on the promise to transform healthcare!”
A spontaneous applause erupted as the inspired nurses and students turned toward Dr. Ford seated in the back of the ballroom.
I went on, “Dr. Ford embodies the very essence of a nurse that took a stand for a future in which nurses would play a significant, critical role in patient care – a role that had not yet been created, and one which would require creativity, passion and persistence.”
After my talk Dr. Ford was invited to share her insights and wisdom. As she approached the front of the room, taking the microphone, you easily felt you were in the presence of someone and something really special – nothing less than a standing ovation would be appropriate and that’s exactly what happened.