The whiteboard in the conference room next to my office is normally filled with meeting agendas, process maps or budget figures.
Yesterday, though, it was filled with the dreams of children.
Every year on “Take your child to work day,” the kids of OHA employees come to the conference room and write on the whiteboard what they want to be when they grow up.
Kaliyah wants to be a veterinarian. Jayleen wants to be a doctor. Micah wants to be a Marine. Caleb wants to be a sheep herder. Kaylee wants to be president. And Edwin wants to be awesome.
It is wonderful to have the hallways of the Human Services Building and Portland State Office Building full of young people during this annual event. Even better is that their parents are sharing the work they do every day to help bring better health, better care and lower costs to everyone in Oregon.
While it’s true that the work we do may not look exciting through the eyes of a child – we are not firefighters or astronauts – the truth is that in the conference rooms, cubicles and offices of the Oregon Health Authority, amazing things are happening to transform our state’s health care system.
But that can be hard to explain to a child. So when I meet the child of an OHA employee, I stick to the basics. I tell them their mom or dad helps a lot of people. And that they should be very proud of them. I know I am.