John Weeks

Hope brings healthcare disciplines together

Success stems from reaching out and engaging with those around you. John Weeks speaks on what can happen when a community commits to improve together and his role in bringing different healthcare disciplines together.

The Interview

There’s a wonderful saying by Václav Havel, the Czech dissident who was an artist, who became the president. He says, “Hope is not the same thing as optimism. Hope is not doing something with the expectation that something is going to get better. Hope is doing a thing, because it’s the right thing to do.”

My main work as I see myself is as an organizer. I’ve been involved with helping to bring people together from different disciplines, different stakeholders, bringing insurers in the same room with chiropractors, with naturopathic doctors, with medical doctors. Helping them find a way to see they’ve got a lot in common and that in many areas will benefit from learning how to collaborate towards joint ends.

A lot of my work with the integrator blog, which is this newsletter I’ve been writing, is it’s my job to try to see who has what participation in the challenge that’s happening. For instance, if I say that the acupuncturists, it’s not all of them, but groups of them, say “We should be the only ones that should be allowed to use needles.” It’s going away more now, but they don’t realize when a medical doctor starts doing acupuncture, that’s likely to be your best friend inside of a hospital or health system, and it gets in the way of them actually reaching out.

If you don’t actually have an encounter with someone, you don’t know anything about them except stuff you’ve made up or you’ve got second hand. We are all filled with hearsay, we’re filled with prejudice as human beings, and we tend to start with a guilty until proven innocent view of that which is different than us.

If you are going to be in an armchair observing, you are going to move into pessimism and skepticism in a minute, because that’s what the world will feed you. But once at the moment of engagement, then you’re looking for other engaged people, and you’re finding other engaged people, and you’re knowing you are moving things. Not necessarily as rapidly as you’d like to, but at each one of those movements and advances you gather energy and you continue operating in a spirit of hope until the candle goes out. That would be success.


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