Today in History – March 1, 2013
You know or have heard about those “keeping them honest” groups? They are so-called non-partisan watchdogs who supposedly do “fact checks” in an effort to keep the media, or politicians, or some other ne’er-do-wells from misrepresenting things to the public. Well I thought I would take on that role, at least for a day, to see if the media was responsibly reporting about important events taking place on March 1st and, to my utter chagrin, I found at least one glaring omission by ABC News, or maybe it’s the Associated Press, in its “Today in History” story.
I am sure President Washington authorizing the first U.S. Census or President Kennedy establishing the Peace Corps is important to mention. And my friends in Nebraska are surely celebrating that they became a State in 1867 and why wouldn’t they? After all, there wouldn’t be a College World Series without Omaha, would there? I suppose birthday wishes are appropriate for Roger Daltrey (69? OMG!), Ron Howard (Opie is 59!) and I’ll even let Justin Bieber blow out his 19 candles because I have friends in Canada and, after all, someone must like his music.
BUT ABC News, and every other media outlet I checked
(OK . . . so I didn’t check any others but go with it, OK?)
missed the biggest news event which occurred on a March 1st.
ON MARCH 1ST OF 1996, I started a little solo practice in a 10’ by 10’ sublet office hoping I’d be able to support my family and while I was at it, help some people who needed helping and were not getting it. I’m very proud to say that, 17 years later, that little shop is still doing both of those things and I am very proud of the work we continue to do! While that solo practice has since become a corporation and the original practice name has changed, our core Mission and founding principle that patients need to be empowered to effectively challenge insurers denying health care remains unshaken and will never change.
So today is our 17th Anniversary and a day to celebrate by looking back a little, and looking forward a lot. I’d love to sit here and take all the credit for the good work which has been done and for what great work I truly believe our future holds. However I can’t take credit simply because too many of you reading this know the truth and there would be a hoard of self-appointed “fact checkers” falling all over themselves trying to keep me honest.
Therefore I choose to celebrate this anniversary by saying “Thanks.” There are so many folks who have helped us do what we do that’s it’s impossible to name everyone. (And if you watched the Oscars this year you know the orchestra started playing “Jaws” when the speeches dragged and I’m afraid of sharks). But I want to thank first and foremost, our clients – the people who have trusted us over 17 years to do our very best to help them get access to the care they needed. That trust is sacred and though we haven’t always been successful achieving approval, we have been successful in trying our best. Thanks too to the countless doctors, integrated health professionals, medical device and industry folks who have also trusted us with their patients – their customers – their livelihoods. Many of you have morphed from “colleagues” to dear friends, confidantes and cheerleaders. With your continued support we will keep doing what we do until insurance companies behave in a way that makes our presence unnecessary. Sadly that day may still be a long way off. Family is extremely important to us and ours keeps us grounded, embraced with love and filled with laughter. We are truly blessed.
I may have started the shop seventeen years ago, but in no way is this about me. First off, our practice is blessed to have the support of 2 fantastic people, Raquel Quezada and Linda Luquin, whose dedication to patients is truly unwavering and to whom I never say “thank you” either often enough or loud enough.
In 1996, when this all started, I had a 2 ½ year old daughter and only a prayerful dream of having a son. Seventeen years later it’s hard not to look at Marissa and Jared at ages 19 and 15 and wonder about the impact this has had on them. They have dealt with my traveling, being away from home more than I’d like, and they’ve seen first-hand that business ownership can sometimes be stressful. Yet I know the impact has been positive. How do I know that? I know because I see the people who they are becoming. My eyes well up with pride knowing my kids care deeply about other people and that their moral compass is pointing in the right direction. I owe them so much for what they have given me these 17 years I don’t have the words to say what should be said; I just hope they will look back in time at what we’ve tried to do and they will be proud of our efforts.
By now one of you “fact checkers” knows it is a bold-faced lie for me to have written “I started a little solo practice….” The heart and soul of this labor of love was, and always has been, my dearest Kelley. Like all jokester husbands, I’ll tease about “the boss” or “she who must be obeyed” and similar drivel and people will laugh only because they know the truth: there is no Lindstrom Healthcare Advocacy – no Mission to help patients fight insurers – no victories over insurance companies to celebrate – no 17th anniversary blogs – there is NOTHING in my life that doesn’t start with her. This practice exists because, for whatever reason the Universe saw fit, she said “Yes” when I asked her a very long time ago if she was willing to be together “from this day forward….” I got lucky.
This practice exists because of her extraordinary empathy for the people we serve. This practice exists because of her amazing ability to methodically dress-down an insurance company representative in a way that makes me so happy that I’m not the one she’s mad at. This practice exists because she works 2 full-time jobs – business owner and Mother/Wife Extraordinaire – more ably than words can describe. This practice exists because for her “Walk in Faith” are not just pretty words – they are the core of her Being. Because of her, we’ve been able to support a family and help some people who needed helping and weren’t getting it. It’s not “all about me” – it’s “all about her.”
Rarely does an occasion arise where someone like me gets to tell the world how extraordinary their spouse or business partner is. I get to do both at the same time and don’t think I’m going to miss my chance! I certainly don’t deserve her – our clients surely do, but me? Not so much. But I got lucky and because of my great fortune and Kelley’s wonderful generosity we all get to celebrate the 17th Anniversary of this wonderful adventure!