Happy New Year from VAHHS

This is such an exciting week for our state. As I reflect on the year to come, it’s overwhelming just how much things will change right out of the starting gate in 2023. In just a few days, the legislature will convene and swear in dozens of new lawmakers—the most turnover in our history—and welcome back those who were reelected. Our governor will be sworn in for a fourth term and we’ll also swear in a new lieutenant governor, state treasurer, attorney general and secretary of state. We’ll receive the governor’s Inaugural Address where he will outline his vision for Vermont in the year to come and we’ll hear speeches from senate and house leadership setting their priorities. And that’s just here at home.

In Washington, D.C., U.S. Representative-elect Becca Balint will be sworn in as the first woman and the first openly gay person to represent Vermont in Congress. It took us far too long to get here, but I am happy that it’s finally happening. As state senator, Becca was accessible and knowledgeable on our issues, and we look forward to continuing to work with her. Senator-elect Peter Welch will be sworn in as our new junior senator. In Congress, Peter fought for our nurses and was an integral partner throughout the pandemic. We are so fortunate to have a congressional delegation that understands the challenges we face in health care and works diligently to support hospitals.

That’s a lot of change and a lot of opportunity for Vermont.

Once the session begins, the pace really picks up. Stress levels elevate and the stakes get higher. None of us has all the answers when it comes to making health care better, but all of us have something to offer that will make a difference in the lives of Vermonters. So, let’s be kind and collaborative and keep the needs of Vermonters front and center. If we do that, we’ll make progress for sure.

On behalf of all hospitals, I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of our elected officials and public servants for their service. We know the work is hard and can feel thankless at times, but this work matters to every single Vermonter. We are grateful you stepped up and we look forward to being a partner as we work to realize our shared goal of a health care system that is stronger and more affordable.

Happy New Year!