November 20, 2019
Thanksgiving, that uniquely American holiday when we all take a moment to think about the things in our lives for which we are most thankful, is just around the corner. Having spent the majority of my life in the south—I was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, and I’ve lived in Louisiana, Venezuela, and now Texas—family, friends, food and football have always been a big part of my Thanksgivings. And I’m no stranger to the concept of “counting blessings.” Pretty much every spiritual tradition I can think of includes reflecting on and feeling gratitude for the things that make life worthwhile.
It’s actually a beautiful idea: given how busy our daily lives can be, sometimes it’s really healthy to consciously look at your partner and savor the love you share, to feel the warmth of your child’s skin when you hold hands, or to allow yourself to appreciate your own personal talents and feel pride in the work you do.
What I hope to do with this blog is to help all my friends and neighbors in the Austin community and beyond to start seeing how those things that are most important to you as an individual are directly connected to the thing that is perhaps your most important personal possession—your health. And I want to emphasize those connections for two reasons. One, because even though your health really matters, it is also the one thing we all seem to forget about until it is stressed, or stretched, like when we get a cold, or experience the pain of an injury. And second, because everyone here at UT Health Austin is committed to helping you enjoy and protect your health by making sure that, when you or someone you love need health care, you get it in a way that fits your life, your beliefs, your priorities and your circumstances.
But first, please help us begin understanding what matters most to you, about your health, and about how you experience the healthcare system, by taking our “What Matters Most” survey. It should only take about five minutes, and it is the first in what will be series of opportunities for you to tell us what you want from your health, and from those who care for you and your family. I will be sharing what we learn in my Health Matters blog, and everyone at UT Health Austin, will use your comments and insights to make the care we deliver the very best it can be.
Thank you for being an important part of making healthcare better; this is going to be fun.
- Amy Young, M.D.
UT Health Austin Chief Medical Officer