President's Message: Reflecting on a Year of Service and Saying Goodbye


President's Message: Reflecting on a Year of Service and Saying Goodbye

By AACVPR Outgoing President Kate Traynor, RN, MS, FAACVPR

“Invisible threads are the strongest ties.” - Friedrich Nietzsche 

As I walked down the hall in our center recently, I saw one of our long-time patients of 20 years, Joanne. All of a sudden, she looked older and frailer to me. Ostensibly, she had come for her maintenance session but we both knew the unspoken truth - she had come to the center, her haven, for help and guidance. T
hat morning, once we settled on a plan of management for her issue at hand, I started to reflect on our connection and the importance of that connection to her-- and me for that matter.

Each of you have Joannes (or Joes) in your lives and programs. Whatever the catalyst may have been, you extended yourself, they were open recipients and you developed a deep bond. These webs of connections are where we draw our strength and how we increase our capacity to deal with whatever comes our way.

As I reflect on the past year, it’s abundantly clear that leadership and our own well-being depend on building personal relationships. In these connections, trust is gained, friendships are made, learning occurs and the door is open to the possibility of unknown good fortune. (And there’s always the “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” advantage! Connections allow us to feel part of something bigger and that we have contributed or made a difference. Framing connections in this way is the underpinning of a purposeful life. It’s not my intent to get too heavy in this column, but rather to convey my sincere humility, gratitude and how privileged I feel to have been given the opportunity to lead AACVPR.

The phrase "you get more than you give" is very apropos and emblematic of my past year. Thank you for the trust you placed in me and for putting up with me! Mostly, thank you for the joy and satisfaction that I have felt in serving our organization.

All that has been and will be accomplished going forward is not my doing. Rather, it’s the deep connections between all of you and a team of extraordinary people - past and present - that will ensure that the ripple effect of our collective efforts will magnify and multiply over time. As I stated in my address to you in Louisville a short year ago, it’s about US together.

In my own life, however, there are a number of vital connections that deserve a special shout out and recognition:

To my family, my husband Mike, and kiddos Elizabeth and Christopher- all that I have accomplished has been because you encouraged me, believed in me and supported me with your personal investments of time and talent. Love you guys. #traynorfamilyexecuting

To my MGH Cardiac Rehab family-you have permitted me the time to lead our organization while keeping the home fires burning. Thanks for your support and encouragement and hard work over the past year.

To the AACVPR Board- thanks for giving your time, talent, and assuming a leadership role in our organization. I could not have done it without you. Your influence will carry your legacy.

To Ana Mola- Felicidades por su presidencia! You have been a terrific partner in leading AACVPR this year. Working side by side and getting to know you has been a highlight of my term. Can’t wait to see what’s in store with you at the helm.

To each AACVPR Committee chair and Committee member- I marvel at all that has been accomplished this year thanks to you and your willingness to use your energy and intellect to the benefit of our organization. Thank you.

To Megan Cohen and Mollie Corbett- “M&M”- Your experience, competencies and commitment to AACVPR have been so valuable to me this year. I have appreciated your efforts and work toward our common goals and your leadership of the SB team.

To the AACVPR staff- the Elmer’s glue of AACVPR. You put up with us and keep us on track and never take any of the credit for the outcome. Your role and contributions have not gone unnoticed. Thank you.

To our GRQ partners Phil and Karen- in every good sense of the words, you are the ultimate enablers. Thanks for your sage counsel, advice and for using your influence and tapping your connections to advance our professions whenever necessary. Working closely with each of you this year has been an honor.

To Steven Keteyian and the Million Hearts team- the Presidential Award was a small way of honoring your contributions and support of me, AACVPR and our shared mission to improve and advance the care of our patients. You have made a difference.

Finally, no deep connections or personal relationships can continue to thrive without attention, care and reinvigoration. AACVPR is no different. As we strive to continue to be a vibrant, impactful organization, it’s important that we continue to further our ties to each other and to our mission. My final charge to you as your president is to request that you consider how you might give your time or play a more supportive role to keep us moving forward.

My journey as your president is over and it’s been a helluva run. But our connection doesn’t stop here. Thanks to email (!) and many invisible threads, there is a fortunate path to maintain these bonds.