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Good-bye 2017. I am grateful for what a fantastic year you were.

Hello 2018. Let’s do the right things and touch as many lives as we can.

Having just enjoyed the holiday season, I want to share some thoughts for the New Year on one of my favorite movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. To this day, the life lessons learned are as valid today as they were over 70 years ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, I would recommend renting it, but the main message is simple- everyone’s life touches many others. Simply put, the main character, portrayed by Jimmy Stewart, interacts with others, connecting a chain of life-saving events and ultimately saving the identity of the small New York town where the movie is set. At Tennessee Oncology we are blessed every day with the opportunity to touch the lives of cancer patients, their families and co-workers.

Secondly, I am inspired by the message to stand for what is right. The movie’s villain offers Stewart a very lucrative job, which would provide him and his family with everything he ever wanted: success, travel, luxury and security. But ultimately he turns it all down, knowing it wasn’t the moral thing to do. Every day I am inspired by those around me, patients, physicians and staff, facing long days and many challenges continually choosing the right path that leads to the best solutions.

Finally, this award winning film, teaches everyone to live your life with gratitude. The final scene concludes with a tear-jerking message that life is about those moments when we love and touch the lives of other’s, especially family and friends. Once again, all of us at Tennessee Oncology are given the humbling opportunity to touch the lives of cancer patients and their families.

In 2018 we plan to focus on customer service for our patients, their families and our referring physicians. We want to make certain everyone understands our different customer’s unique needs and puts them first. We should make it simple for our referring physician offices to make appointments and send timely reports back to the providers. We should continually improve our patient’s experience, both in and out of our office, with convenient appointments, timely referrals and efficient scheduling of outside tests. We are in the initial phase of adopting new texting technology that will improve timely communications with technology adept patients and family members. We want to continually seek solutions that will deliver better customer service, make us more efficient and more responsive to the needs of those we serve. Let’s all take the challenge to stand for what is right and seek out ways to continually improve.

Here’s to a fantastic 2018 at Tennessee Oncology, where caring for cancer patients is a privilege.

Best, Jeff.