Commentary

June 27, 2014

What time is it? It’s Lombardi Time!

Glenn Arola
412th Medical Group Patient Advisory Council

Glenn Arola here from the Clinic Patient Advisory Council. Last week, I had the pleasure of†attending our second meeting and gained a lot of valuable information. I want to share the results of this with you. I am sure you will be surprised.

Having been on Edwards for about 26 years, I have seen the “ebb and the flow” of a lot of things. I remember the clinic as a hospital as I have two sons that can attest to spending a lot of time in the hospital wards after Desert High football games.

They also used to deliver babies here! Sometimes the same things you heard back then are the same things you hear now, just with different people.

It has been said, “I never can get an appointment from the clinic when I want to, they are always booked.” “They only have ‘X’ number of providers and I am on a waiting list, but I can’t wait, I have to have my appointment now!”

Well, the fact of the matter is, according to the hard statistics that were presented to us, more than 50 appointments were open during the months of April and May 2014. That was just the general clinic; more were open with the specialty clinics.

The next statistic that I asked for was the number of appointments made and the number of no shows for the respective months and I found it to be very high. I will think about this the next time, because a “no show” costs the clinic about $78 per instance, which in turn affects four other appointments (people) for a total cost of $312 per no show. Truthfully, if I had to calculate the cost out for myself and the number of times I cancelled my appointment because I was too busy, thinking I was too important or the mission would not succeed without me, I think my bill would be in excess of $4,000. I sure hope they don’t try to collect as I will have to put them on my easy payment plan.

Arriving late for my appointments has not been a real big problem and I try to be there 15 minutes early. Showing up early allows me to be there right on time and no sooner I check in, I am being called to have my vitals taken. The last time I went to see a doctor downtown, I could have read a book and knitted two baby blankets, because I would have finished those before my vitals were taken . Maybe I should have sent my vitals ahead of time! Bottom-line – no waiting at the Edwards Clinic. I don’t think any medical provider in the valley can touch that.

By now I am sure you are wondering why I named this article Lombardi Time. Vince Lombardi was a famous football coach for the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins who prided himself on discipline in every aspect of his players’ conduct both on and off the field. He lived by rules, discipline and accountability. If you were late for a team meeting, it would cost you $500. Do that twice and you were traded and blackballed throughout the league; a great way to track accountability and maintain discipline.

Coach Lombardi should have been a first sergeant or sergeant major. He would have been a good one. Simple definition of Lombardi time: If the team meeting was at 0800 and you walked in at 0800, you were late. If you were there at 0745, he scowled at you. If you were there at 0730, he probably said, “Good morning.”

Let’s use this same strategy for our medical appointments and other appointments. Give the people†who serve us that respect. I know they deserve it!

We are in a different era in the Air Force. The quality of life that we have is next to phenomenal, and yes, I am paid very well for what I do.

There are still many time-honored traditions that are apparent. Honesty, hard work, dedication and most of all accountability and appreciation for the things people do for us is something we must not take for granted. Sure, we have core values and most people can recite them verbatim, but do you believe in them and do you really make it a part of your daily walk? That is a question only you can answer. Think about it!

To sum it all up, we owe. Next time you see a veteran; treat them with dignity and respect, the respect that is due to them, for fighting the wars and loss of limbs and horrible living conditions. Next time you think about the quality of your healthy life, or your life in general, find the nearest medical professional and tell them how much you appreciate what they do. I know you will lift them up!




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