In icebreaker activity at the recent DPC board meeting.

An icebreaker activity at the recent board meeting. Can you tell what it is?

By Sage B., Grassroots Manager

Hi Voice readers! My name is Sage and I recently joined DPC as the Grassroots Manager, which means that I will work with many of you personally to influence state and national kidney disease policies. Each month I will keep you up to date on what we are doing at the local level and share inspiring stories of our patients in action. Thank you for joining me here today, and I hope to see you again next month!

Coming to work Friday morning felt different. The past three weeks have hurtled past me like a tornado, with acronyms, medical terms, and people’s names replacing flying debris. I mean this in a good “ruby slippers” kind of way. I’m just saying that starting any job is a test in memory skills, and when you throw in Thanksgiving, a fiscal cliff, and a board retreat to Las Vegas, you end up feeling like you may no longer be in Kansas.

But as I made my way to our C Street office for the first time since the retreat, I felt as though I was a part of something much bigger than myself. While it was a whirlwind in and of itself, the board and staff retreat to Las Vegas put the organization into perspective for me. I can summarize the retreat by what decisions were made or the exciting new projects that were conceived. For example, the board approved a five year strategic plan and values statement, and gave the green light for a new website.

That said, what struck me was how the decisions were made. As you may know, all of our board members are either currently on dialysis or have experienced dialysis. So you, the dialysis patient, were in the forefront of their conversation as they grappled with the future of this organization. But dialysis patients weren’t numbers to the board or the staff of DPC, nor were they defined by kidney disease. The voices, the stories, and the experiences of dialysis patients were present in the room and influenced each and every decision that was made.

So when I stepped off the bus on Friday morning, I knew that I was walking toward an organization that is led by the people it seeks to help. I am a small part of an organization that puts power back in patient’s hands where it ought to be. And I was excited to get to my desk (after making a beeline to the coffee machine)!