Straight Talk - "Spirit of Women"

July 25, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Behind every successful hospital, there are many good women—and men, too, of course! But recently, I had a chance to celebrate the former, as I attended, along with Directors Pat Read and Debbie Curry, and marketing specialist Deanna Fitzgerald, the national meeting of Spirit of Women, dedicated to changing the way women experience healthcare over a lifetime.

NCH is beginning our fourth year with this national network in an effort to spread the good news that being healthy is not just about having a great relationship with your healthcare provider, but also about having good times with your family and friends. Spirit of Women events, educational workshops, and communications provide women and their families with the information and inspiration that they need to live their best lives now. (

Recent local examples, hosted by NCH, include two Days of Dance events held in Bonita and downtown Naples, with more than 850 attendees having fun while learning about healthcare. Each fall, Girls Night Out features NCH experts helping women of all ages increase their understanding of ways to live longer, happier, and healthier lives. (If you would like to learn about future events, email

At the recent Spirit of Women national meeting, I had the opportunity to share NCH best practices on “transparency” with the 200 attendees representing just under 100 hospitals. Among the examples I cited about how we regularly communicate were our weekly Straight Talk, quarterly award-winning Naples Health, monthly (except during the summer) Life in Naples, and monthly contributions to the Bonita Banner, Collier Citizen, and Marco Island Eagle. Recent examples can be viewed on our website. ( I noted that we have been sharing our news internally and externally, never missing a Thursday, for almost seven years in Straight Talk, which is distributed electronically to all NCH colleagues, medical staff, Board, and across the nation. The Naples Daily News graciously reprints Straight Talk the following Tuesday.

Other speakers discussed the changing landscape of healthcare and communication using social media, how best to change outcomes for individuals and whole populations, measuring effectiveness using ROI (return on investment), best practices, benchmarking and other methods to improve health. (

I concluded my talk on transparency by advising the audience that one condition of being so public with information is that you have to be willing to acknowledge room for improvement. (Or, as I put it a bit more graphically, “If you want to be naked, you better be buff!”) Clearly, our quality and service have improved as we have become more transparent. Admittedly, we are on a constant journey and will always have opportunity to improve. Candid and frequent communications facilitate that journey and our progress.

All of us at NCH—women and men, alike—benefit from our inclination to share openly and honestly with our colleagues, as we continue to improve the care and quality we deliver to our community, so that all of us may lead longer, happier, and healthier lives.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss
and The NCH Healthcare System
by clicking here:

Please feel free to share Straight Talk:

To view past issues of Straight Talk click:

Join us on Facebook at: