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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For Public Service

It should be obvious what this post is, and who it is about.  If not, I'll follow my usual pattern anyway.

Rules are rules, even when they are arbitrary and you made them up yourself.  There are two that I'm pretty inflexible about.  When it is deserved, it goes out, and when it is given for some contribution, it's never given for that same kind of contribution again.  I'd already mentally reserved this for someone else, but it turns out, I was wrong, and it goes to somebody other than I thought.

If you had asked me three or four years ago what I thought of this person, I'd tell you he was a total pain in my posterior.  He had a vision that was not accomplish-able, some ideas that were unworkable, and an attitude about standards organizations that made his own organization unable to do its job well.  Some of my opinions still haven't changed, but others have.  I've known everybody in his position by name, and for the most part, everyone who has been in that position has also known me by name as well.  But he was the first person in that role that I really connected with.  It started at HIMSS a few years back before he had his current role, when he strode up to me, held out his hand and exclaimed Motorcycle Guy! I was impressed.  He'd actually been reading what I wrote for him.

He's also the first guy in his position that I think really connected with the geek culture in Healthcare  IT. Whether or not I agreed with him, he's made me think, and think hard.  And he's done so for the rest of the industry as well.  He's had a huge impact on where we are right now as a nation.  I hope the next person in his position is just as strong, and just as pushy. Because we all need it.

The first time he read what I had to write was probable routed to him via an e-mail that said you should see what this guy has to say about X, where X was something he was pushing, and I wasn't on board.  I said he's been a pain in my posterior.  I'll certainly bet the feeling has been mutual.  And I'll bet that wherever he lands, he'll still be one.  That's not necessarily a bad thing.

When you ride a long way, a pain in the posterior has a way of making you shift your balance, get up off you rear, and hold yourself more upright.  If you slouch, the pain returns, and you have to reassert yourself again.  It keeps you going, and it makes sure that while you are getting yourself there, you are also doing so with attention and care, rather than sloppily.  He's been that kind of pain, and believe it or not, it does help.

Without further ado, this next Ad Hoc Harley goes to ...

This certifies that 
Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator


Has hereby been recognized for his contributions in
Public Service to Healthcare IT.

P.S.  I'd never really thought Farzad would be the guy who got the first public service ad hoc, and I still can't half-believe I'm doing this.  It just goes to show you how he can make you rethink things.

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