30 years, 30 stories: Jonathan Shapiro

30th June 2017

Education for Health is celebrating 30 years of improving the lives of people with long term conditions. We are marking this important milestone by sharing the stories of 30 people involved in our success, as we reach the end of June it is time for the very last story, our Chairman Jonathan Shapiro.

“What makes a ‘good’ organisation? I’ve spent a career trying to answer this question, and it seems to me that a number of factors are important in answering it. 

“First, it needs to have clear, simple aims with which it is easy to identify.
Second, these aims need to be attached to a set of values, ‘the way we do things here’ that percolate the entire organisation, so that rhetoric and reality really match, and are seen to match.

“Thirdly, within these aims and values, a good organisation should be flexible and nimble, able to cope with change and even welcome it; such an approach ensures that an organisation is future facing, rather than merely living on old glories.

“From my perspective, Education for Health fulfils most of these criteria, and as its current Chair, it is with a deep sense of pride and privilege that I have been watching (and taking part in!) the marking of our thirtieth anniversary. For I believe that our organisation is genuinely driven by these markers of success: we have a very simple aim, to make life better for people living with long term conditions, an aim that everyone working for us would recognise, and one that makes our vision easy to identify with.

“Moreover, the values that underpin these aims are integral to everything we do: we are genuinely people-centred; we attempt to be progressive and professional in our approach to all our work and our staff; and we work in partnership on all our projects, whether they be a fully fledged degree programme, a commissioned workshop, or an international research project.

“And finally, in the ever changing environment of 21st century health care, our survival depends on our ability to flex and develop. Our clients, our projects, and our methods may vary, but it is always within the framework of our aims and values, a stable set of functional drivers around which we can change, grow and develop in the best possible way.

“I hope that the 29 previous stories and messages have helped to give you a taste of our journey to date, one that has been exciting, productive and intensely rewarding, not just to our staff and our students, but to the people with long term conditions who are the ultimate beneficiaries of all that we do. 

“Thus, it is with a great sense of satisfaction and pride in our achievements to date that I end this series. I hope that you will join everyone at Education for Health in our determination and ambition to progress this journey, for the next 30 years at least!”

Dr Jonathan Shapiro, Chairman, Education for Health

See every single #edforhealth30 story at www.educationforhealth.org/30 – and don’t forget to share in our future by telling us your Education for Health story, email us on contact@educationforhealth.org