Posted By Barry J. Jacobs, Valerie Ross, and Randall Reitz,
Thursday, November 29, 2012
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At the 2012 conference in Austin, the CFHA Board of Directors presented the Don Bloch Award to Larry Mauksch. This award is the association's highest
recognition for contributions to the field of integrated and collaborative care
that are pioneering, or in some way help bridge the mind-body gap and pursue a
more humane, egalitarian and interdisciplinary healthcare system. Three of Larry Mauksch's colleagues presented the nomination at the conference awards luncheon:
Barry J. Jacobs
Let me make the case for Larry Mauksch, M.Ed for the
Don Bloch Award for this year. Without his service to CFHA as a board
member and later president in the '90s and early 2000s, our organization
wouldn't exist today. He gave us passion and selfless leadership during
his tenure--a time when the survival of CFHA was in question. He served
as the crucial bridge between the vision of our founders and the more
pragmatic, membership-oriented organization we are currently. Even after
he stepped down as president, he has remained engaged with CFHA as a conference
attendee and participant and key advisor to the board and board staff
Larry’s contributions to the field of collaborative
family healthcare go well beyond his service to CFHA. Through his
long-time association with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington, he is one of the best known
and most highly regarded behavioral science faculty members in the
country. His 2-year tenure as a visiting clinician at the Marillac Clinic
helped make that community health center one of the early models for
community-centered collaborative family healthcare. In the past decade he
has co-written important articles in the major primary care journals on
patient-centered communication and, more recently, integrated healthcare
teams. He currently provides trainings around the country on those
subjects and serves as a national champion for behavioral healthcare within the
In addition to these many accomplishments, Larry is
one of the warmest, funniest, most generous people I've encountered in the
collaborative family healthcare field. I've benefitted from his
encouragement and mentoring. He has been the Yoda to many budding
is the warm, generous heart of the collaborative care movement. When I asked his colleagues across the nation
to describe him. They called him
visionary, caring, diligent, energetic, determined, and thoughtful.
him as an ideal mentor. Through a lucky
accident, Larry took me under his wing back in 2000. I was fortunate to complete my PhD internship
at Marillac Clinic shortly after Larry’s year-long sabbatical during which he
established Marillac’s collaborative care program. My internship was funded through a 5-year RWJ
grant Larry had co-authored. During my
years there, Larry returned to Grand
Junction yearly to offer training and conduct
research. My first published research
was with him as a first author, and my early professional presentations
included him as co-presenter. On
multiple occasions I’ve slept in his home, eaten at his table, and soaked in
his rooftop hot tub. I’ve called him for
advice before each major decision of my career.
He personally nominated me when I was invited to join CFHA’s board.
I share my
experience with Larry because I have personal knowledge that he has provided
similar tutelage to many, many young collaborators. This room is full of people for whom Larry
has had a deep and enduring impact.
about a story to share that would typify Larry, the most poignant memories are
actually of hearing Larry brag on his wife and children. If allowed, he will share stories of their
academic success, deep humanity, and outdoor adventures for hours. Larry lives
the family in collaborative family healthcare. His family is with us today and
I’d like to thank Sally, Claire, and Eli for sharing your remarkable husband
and father with us for these many years.
I have been asked to reflect on my experience
of Larry as a teacher and educator. It’s
been my privilege to be both Larry’s student, colleague, and friend for the
past 15 years.
Larry is one of the most generous and
creative people I know. His work is infused
with a deep understanding of collaboration and coaching.
1985 Larry took over the behavioral science program in the UW Family
Medicine residency. The position
became a base for his almost 30 year- exploration in training healthcare
1996 he started an Internship for Master’s level therapists in
Collaborative Care. To date 19 therapists have graduated from the program,
myself among them, many of whom are working in medical settings and
involved in healthcare change.
scholarly work as an educator has focused on defining, describing and
teaching skills at the interface of time management and quality patient
- He has
been influential in developing methods for innovative clinical training,
marrying skill articulation with, direct observation and feedback, video
review, and self-reflection.
A few of Larry’s contributions include:
materials in patient centered communication such as "The Patient Centered
Observation Form” and accompanying on-line videos
Paired Observation Video Editing Course: a course that utilizes peer observation and has been adapted in
medical schools around the country.
Larry served on the Competency Task Force for the Council of Academic
Family Medicine. He is developing
new training materials in response to this experience.
focus in clinical training is evolving from an individual to a team
focus. He is working with health
systems around the country to promote well functioning teams in the
Larry’s impact on me has been profound, both
professionally and personally. Barry
asked me tell you all some anecdotes that help to capture who he is. I thought
to myself: "Well, we have been on this big adventure together – an adventure we
all in CFHA are on -- trying to figure out how to change the healthcare system.
For me, a formative part of this adventure has taken place in conversations in
Larry’s office. Not a setting for dramatic story telling. So I tried to think
of archetypes to more dramatically capture what it has been like to take part
of this adventure with Larry.
Harry Potter, Larry is a leader
among peers, a change agent from within guided by the values of social
justice, compassion and the importance of relationship
in age he is closer to Dumbledore.
He shares the qualities of a wise supportive mentor who is there
when you need him and moves out of the way when it’s time to let his
student grow. He is caring,
challenging, and his door is always open.
is little bit of Yoda in him too.
He is a guide with a big picture view
- Then again he does have an edge – like
say – Hans Solo. He is a great co-pilot, he does not let the rules, or
that fact that he is in an imperfect ship get in the way of his creativity
or taking risks.
then there is his style; which is
really a little more like Columbo (without the cigar) : a bit rumpled in
appearance, messy office, he always greets you with a big warm smile on
his face, a twinkle in his eye signaling delight, and he is always
thinking outside the box.
Recently Larry and I were talking about
something that happened in the department that seemed like a step backwards, reversing some of the important work we had
both done in the residency. That step
backwards was bothering me. Larry leaned back in his chair and said: "I have
really come to think of my work as just a grain of sand in a much bigger
evolution.” Then we set to work planning how to move forward again. This is one
of the most important lessons I learned form Larry. I will just call it: Think Zen.
Don’t take your self too seriously, recognize
that your work may be but a flicker of light or grain of sand in the evolution
of healthcare, AND invest 110% or more of yourself in that work.
Don’t get hung up in judging whether a situation is good or bad. Look for openings to move towards creation of
a more humane and quality system…whether it is teaching, or attending a faculty
meeting, or trying to change a culture …listen…
think systemically… do your research …get to know your collaborators …
and take risks. You never know what will
come of it.
I have tremendous gratitude for my
relationship with Larry and all he has taught me and I am so pleased that CFHA
is honoring him in this way.
The text of Larry Mauksch's acceptance speech is available here.
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