Tom Willis in conversation with Kevin Tulipana
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Listen to Patrick Watson, Superintendent at Bloomfield Hills Schools on the Culture Eats Everything Podcast in conversation with Thomas Willis. Mr. Patrick Watson is the Superintendent of Schools at Bloomfield Hills Schools. In this role, he serves the students, staff, and community with his enduring commitment to creating opportunities for students, encouraging them to explore a variety of unique experiences, hands-on activities, and diverse course offerings.
Mr. Patrick Watson spent most of his educational career in the West Bloomfield School District at West Bloomfield High School where he worked continuously to inspire students and staff for 26 years. He started in the classroom teaching, was a dedicated coach for baseball and basketball, served in the dual role of District Athletic Director and Assistant Principal, and finally as principal.
Mr. Patrick Watson received his Bachelors of Science in History and Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. He returned to EMU where he earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and Teaching and a Specialist in Education in Educational Leadership and Administration.
His extensive community involvement includes serving on the With One Voice and Kevin’s Song Advisory Boards on Suicide Prevention. He received the Spirit of the Community Award from the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and is active in the National Alliance of Black School Educators. In his free time, Mr. Patrick Watson plays softball and pickleball and enjoys spending time with his adult children.
Checkout our book - https://www.phoenixperform.com/book
Know more about Tom - https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasawillis/
Dr. Tulipana thanks for joining me on the podcast today and um you know I want to jump right in. You're the CEO of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America um but uh almost as interesting or maybe more interesting more more uh passionate for you is I know you love your wife and your eight children. So let's start there um eight children it's 2022.
You've got eight children talk to us about that and my wife had every one of them at different times no twins right there's like two questions. People always ask are there any multiples and or is that is that from the same family or is that a blended family and I'm like no that's from my wonderful wife Kara. She bore each and every one of them individually um yeah you know that's a it's a great question we never.
I met my wife close to 30 years ago I was an undergraduate um studying biology um minor in music loved music vocal performance was my my real passion. I actually I don't think I ever told you this but I uh you know I wanted to to go down that route. I realized that you know if you ever wanted to be successful and have a family and do good things in life and do medicine and you can't really have a mass a major in vocal performance I'm sure there are some but anyway so remember wife uh because she was was working on her first master's degree uh in vocal performance and they got one in education anyway.
I'm Meandering when we buried um I was still very young I actually hadn't even finished College yet I was before my my senior year she was a graduate student and you know when you're convicted you recognize that there's someone that you you think you're going to spend the rest of your life with or you're going to make that commitment to why not jump in it's always been the way I operate the children I know not always the case you know we thought we'd have you know the 2 kids that everyone has right.
We had a boy first uh between my first year and second year of medical school and Landon he's you know now 26 almost and a great young man then we have my daughter between my first year and second year of residency so three years later and or four years later and you know I thought oh we got a boy and a girl they're spread apart this is perfect then my dad was uh you know my dad was diagnosed with cancer and pancreatic cancer.
We really felt like you know having two kids only is probably not what we're called to do and so we thought oh we'll have it we'll have a third so we had a third who's named after my dad George it was then that my wife started her conversion um her true conversion to the Catholic faith she grew up Protestant we got married in Catholic Church she converted to Catholicism before he got married out of out of obligation to me because I thought we should be of one faith um you know God bless her uh that she had some issues with that but then she went through this just dramatic conversion one day.
She hands me this CD I think it's um I can't think of her name that did it Janet whatever sorry about that but anyway it was it was about accepting the gifts that are they're given to you right and one of them is accepting that gift of of uh of life um of having children she thought that I would just go off the deep and be like absolutely not we're not going to do this um you know this is something we should control because I controlled everything at that point right like and so I I listened to it and I'm like I go back in that day and I came back and I said huh honey that actually makes sense so yeah I'm on board if you are let's just let's see what happens and so we just figured that you know if we're given we were healthy We Were Young we were relatively successful um had the means and even if we didn't we felt like you know we had no reason no real reason to not they accept whatever comes our way as far as children and lo and behold like every 15 or 12 to 15 months my wife was pregnant for the next you know six years and so that's how that happened so we do explicitly know how it happened um and uh and we were very successful at that too so so if we have eight beautiful kids 20 almost 26 down to seven so wow wow that's fantastic and clearly it is a blessing uh to you and Takara to be able to to do that um and to you know I think that's an interesting leadership lesson too to surrender for a lot of us excuse me this desire to feel like we have control over everything you know it reminds me I just saw a great quote yesterday from Thomas Seoul and he says some of the the biggest cases of mistaken identity among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God you know that we think we think we have so much more control over things than we we do and sometimes just letting go and letting life sort of bring what it brings I I think I think are part of the keys to the the kingdom I don't know what do you think about that yeah I think you're right I think we have to you know we have to properly discern of course and and think of what our motives are and and that's something I try to reflect on in my leadership all the time is what is my true motive here for for whatever it is a decision at work or hiring or you're firing someone or making a change is you know is this a is this a pure motive um is it going to help more than just myself um is it going to bring you know more gifts to the table and so but I do think you have to you do have to surrender sometimes because you know many many times as you know and um and on leadership in your life is to Father um as a friend a colleague whatever I mean you you you make choices that sometimes are not you know for your for your personal benefit and you know they actually harm your ability to to succeed in the world and so I mean I've made many of those that like you know you think back on it if I you know my wife and I and I had two children and and just continued on my path of being a physician and a leader and you know financially you know much different place than I am right now and you know successfully and everything else it'd be a different world right I'd be free at that point if you will free at this point both kids would be out of the house and I could I could golf every day if I wanted to but if that's not where we are and so but I have a gift like we were sharing earlier instead of that I you know I last afternoon a couple days ago in the afternoon didn't have big meetings in the afternoon so I grabbed my seven-year-old and played nine holes I mean what what better things than that right um so yeah that's the the substance of life right and I think as particular American culture we're so we're so much in a hurry to get to the future you know it's this whole idea of like well life will life will start once I get my degree you know or life will start once I become a a resident or life will start when I'm a full in your case Doctor maybe your life will start you know after the kids are through high school and into college you know and we we keep living for this uh in many ways fictitious future um as opposed to just saying look what I've got right in here you know right now look at this I've been playing golf with my seven-year-old you know it doesn't get any better than that absolutely you know and that's it we're just having this discussion it kind of makes me think of uh we had that we had the honor the other day at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America here in Phoenix um I'm doing our Celebrate life event where we invite those who have survived their cancer for at least five years back for for celebrations the first time we've done it in a couple years because of the cobit you know the in-person stuff was kind of difficult to do of course in inviting all those people back and I've shared this with people and sometimes people recoil at it but in oncology and cancer sometimes when you're given that diagnosis of cancer it can be again a gift and I look at things as gifts right because if you look at it properly and you look at your life and understand your mortality from the time you're born you know it gives you kind of a reset moment and an opportunity to say you know what you know yes more cancers are you know mortality rates are going down significantly and we can treat we can fight this may give you a motive to fight something but at the same time it also gives individuals of time to kind of reframe and say wow what how have I lived my life and and now maybe at least Embrace their mortality a little more and and make those relationships that they've they've passed up on so um yeah anyway that was a tangent but no not at all not at all it's actually a great leadership lesson in there you know that to be able to accept things as they are you know to often I think again we curse gravity and as as if it shouldn't exist when really it is what it is whatever the situation is how do we as Leaders accept it and um and and then to your point earlier make conscious choices how do we stop and slow down and and make conscious choices that move us move us forward um how do you think about you know uh leadership and and what it takes to Be an Effective leader these days yeah there's there's so much out there right I mean personally I think it takes a level of humility that that many don't um that have I hate to say that I don't know I hate to say that I think it really does take a level of humility you have to ask myself all the time am I being humbleness and in the way I'm leading right now and I and I say that because if you if you do if you're the leader because you're trying to put yourself on a pedestal I think you're destined to fail at it because it will become about you as an individual rather than the group or the community the people that you're leading you know and so I think that's one piece that's extraordinarily important in this day that many people forget because it's all about how you appear on you know your social media or you know on your recent webcast with your with all your stakeholders or your employees and things and so yes there has to be a level of confidence and knowledge and intellect um to lead an organization appropriately but at the same time there does have to be a level of humility because you know if you're leading you know 500 600 thousand two thousand people there just there's probably a lot of people know that are a lot brighter than you are and you know and at least in their area understand things more intimately than than you do yeah yet as the leader of it you're you're still faced with you know that responsibility of making the right decision so um I think good leaders also need to listen probably more than they talk uh and I'm not I'm not exhibiting that right now in this discussion but but I mean you really do you have to you do you have to listen and not only listen with your ears but also listen with your eyes and notice people's behaviors and it's it's one area I think it's been that has kind of fallen behind in this era of covet and constant Zoom is that it's hard to read people or have true conversation um and then you know also be willing to have true conversation growing up in a in a I had three brothers pretty large family not for the time not not like mine but you know and an Italian father and a Polish mother and you know they were full of passion and argued and I think good leaders have to know how to argue without like insulting people too so I learned that from my parents I you know they may have thrown things at each other every now and then but I never hold heard them insult each other so yeah that's great well you are talking uh more than you're listening but that's by Design Kevin this is a podcast where we're we're intentionally wanting you to talk and share your thoughts and insights so you can you can let go of any concern there um I uh I don't you don't strike me as someone who's a likes to hear themselves talk um so we we love your wisdom here so if you think about um you know the this humility concept um I Heard a an interesting Hebrew root on this that it comes from sort of this idea that it's it's taking up our our given space now for many of us that may be that our god-given space on Earth and it's it's no more or no less than that you know too often we think it's about taking up less space but really it's about taking up whatever space is appropriate for you and know more than that or no no less than that and I think a lot of leaders frankly even the ones um you know I was like this when I was a young leader um humility was so important to me that I talked about it a lot and I realized well that's kind of interesting that um yeah I want attention on how humble I am and I realized like there's there's an oxymoron and maybe I wasn't as humble as I thought I was I think I've grown you know a decent amount in the last 15 years um but I think people still really struggle with this one because it is such a um it's such a hard concept to get and that one hard one to live um so how do you um check yourself I guess when it comes to being the The Humble leader that you want to be yeah again I think it goes back to really checking on motives you know what what is my motive and whatever it is you know if it's if it's Gathering a meeting or or you know just presenting something or myself or whatever it is you know what is the motive in this and if it really is to kind of put one's self as a leader in front of everyone say here I am I'm the big guy making the decisions then it's you know it's probably it's probably not right not the most not the most leaders do that but but there are some I mean I I've you know you've experienced it some folks that really like to put themselves in the spotlight make sure that everyone hears what they're saying and that's great um I will say you know personally at times it becomes difficult because you know again having as many children as I do and having to be the paternal um uh person when I'm home at times I will step in that sometimes and if I feel challenged I'll fall back into my my fatherly uh you know directive and that that's probably not so humble because you know a lot of adults don't take it so well when you get that and you get too paternalistic uh and that leadership so I think it's one thing I I often will kind of check on myself too and and I make mistakes of course everyone does and when I do I think one of the first things you should do and is you know call it out on yourself in front of the individual not in a group you know like oh sorry I made a mistake but um it's been interesting though when I when I've done that I've apologized for you know either being a little too assertive or making a decision too quickly that didn't consider everyone to individuals and I've had some leaders particularly my my physician colleagues at times correct me for that like you don't have to apologize you shouldn't apologize you should never apologize it shows weakness and I'm like come on you know you know you want people to know that we're human right so yeah which is which is often missing you know that's that old school mindset I think frankly I've like never apologized never show a weakness which which implies that it's weak to apologize which I don't I don't personally get um it takes more strength it takes more courage to to do than it does to be an ignoramus and stick your head in the sand but yeah I don't know what do you think about that no I absolutely I mean how easy is it to kind of like ignore your own faults and just kind of Overlook them as if oh well you know it kind of expected if you accept everything that comes some would say well if you accept everything that comes your way then if you make a mistake you should just kind of move on and uh not acknowledge it like no I mean they sometimes make the wrong decisions or behave the wrong way or you know let my uh you know my anger get a hold of me or whatever it is and so you're you're exactly right I think you know as long as you're not constantly apologizing for you know missteps and things that you're you you have to succeed at say as the CEO you know if you're if your p l is off yeah you should take the blame for it or at least through time because it lands on your shoulders but at the same time you can't be like well I'm just sorry I overlooked that you know it's you have a good reason for it but at the same time if there's you know an interaction with a colleague or a disciplinary thing you've got to do or a certain direction you take and it doesn't go quite right if if you were the leader that made that decision I think it's perfectly fine to say wow I really looked at that the wrong way and next time and ask for some additional opinion listen a little more so
so so give us an example of that yeah I think you know if I look back at um so my trajectory in this organization as a leader you know I've taken several steps to it and um one of them I was a regional chief medical officer um for our operations in Oklahoma and uh and Arizona and then was also giving some direction on how to manage a particular program across the Enterprise and at the time we had five hospitals and and you know I had just assumed that the way that I had experienced a certain program being run in in one Hospital could easily be you know spread across all of them and um and it probably could operationally it would make sense right and maybe got some efficiencies out of it but at the same time it it didn't really consider the the history or the um the program had been built at a couple of the hospitals and I and I really just kind of pushed forward on it and railroaded it and um you know and honestly it it caused some disruption um you know again I was doing it in the direction of some other people but it could cause some disruption and really um you know some of the meetings were contentious and I you know would respond in a kind of like a way you know that this is the way it's got to be done and you know although it was it's probably right from a financial standpoint it really didn't consider you know the the personal relationships that people had built the long-standing trust that they had in it and so you know I very openly to that to the to the leaders of that particular program that did come in and you know apologized for it and that's actually when I got the correction the direction from one of their physician leaders was like well you should never apologize don't apologize for it just make the right decision I'm like well you know that's we're going to make wrong decisions at times and and you know you have to accept at least that you played a part in it and you were at fault for it rather than just accepting that wrong decision and saying okay well that's fine I made that decision and I had that Authority so so anyway I think that's that's probably one example of it and to this day I still you know still will do that uh I at least try to to be cognizant of how it affects people any of those decisions and then if it does you know maybe get ahead of it if there's going to be a disruption to relationships and stuff you know bring that to the Forefront first um at least allowing people to be aware of where those changes are going to be so it may not be as concrete as an example of it but it's you know it's one that I reflect on sometimes because I look at it and my management maybe it wasn't the best wasn't The Shining Moment of my of my own career so yeah yeah well there's it's it's one example of many it sounds like it's part of your sort of operating premise you know Kevin is your you don't want to be above Being Human you know and and we all make mistakes whether it's at work or or at home you know I I I've been trying to work on that for the last couple years of going to my children and saying hey I'm sorry I didn't um I didn't mean to say what I said or you know whatever the case may be it just happened yesterday with my youngest uh who's also seven by the way um and I was frustrated and so I just I walked away and uh so I came back to like two minutes later I was like all right I'm sorry I shouldn't have walked away let's talk about this um and it opened up the conversation it it again it took more uh energy and courage I think from me to do that than to just sort of brood in my own I'm right you know and and those little seven-year-olds wrong which is what we want to do as humans that's right I think you're exactly right that that moment when you can like walk back and it's a great demonstration not only for our children our seven-year-old children that are you know our 27 year old you know executive that works with you you know that that human you when you respond the wrong way you go back and say yeah it's a coaching moment right and it's not only for that individual but it's also for yourself because you know that's really how I think we all should live is that you know if we're going to give direction to someone else we we darn well better be willing to take that direction for our own behavior too so yeah well that's a great that's a great lead into another a fun topic which is coaching you know we part of when we work with clients we're always helping them to make distinctions between you know leadership um coaching and management those are three very very different skills and tools we tend to mix them all together as if they're one thing in our in our society and we by creating distinctions there it's it's it's really helpful and around coaching you know one of the keys is that coaching is only coaching if it's asked for you know that you you too often we we want to go to somebody and say are you open to feedback and then whether they say yes or no we give it to them and that's rude and destructive of relationships that you really you're as a leader you have to get people to be open to it um so I'm wondering how how do you go about and creating a a coaching culture within your organization how do you get to the I know you're probably not perfect this but how do you how do you think about yourself and others being open to each other's input yeah Tom you're actually you're giving me direction right now as I reflect on just interactions you know the difference there um yeah yeah that is I think I did it just intuited that through time that you you people have to be receptive and maybe I actually now that you say this I'm thinking about it I'd say my wife has helped me more than anything else on this as I'm sure you've experienced before oh yeah your wife is much more likely to say to you hey I didn't ask for your opinion on that and so um you know it's it's it is different you're right um ah I think you know leadership obviously is yes it's different and sometimes you do have to give that direction it's not as much a personal thing and there's that difference between the coaching and um and um being a leader and and that's they haven't always been the best person at that but I've recognized it and others and and have distinctly said to people you know to some folks have come and thought they'd like that other drama there's been other examples that came and tried to give me direction or coaching they thought to make me a better whatever it was and it's like you know I didn't it wasn't the moment for it right you know help me be a you know help me understand what maybe where I made or could have made a better decision through through example or Direction rather than coming at it from a personal thing coaching often feels much more personal right because you're trying to form that person and turn them into something different whether it's their leadership style or their their management style or just even their personality whereas leadership is more demonstrable so you know you you I want people to hopefully on being a good example and they will follow the way I interact with my colleagues the people that report to me my my um or my superiors and and you know get that direction rather than having to to go back and try to transform them as an individual because you're right people are not going to be receptive to it unless they ask for what they're open for it to begin with so yeah I'm gonna have to reflect on that a little more because it's it's great yeah it's it's a you know coaching actually happens in the listening which is well sounds a little bit woo-woo but it is true that you know some people are infinitely coachable they can take any input whether it's um direct or harsh or even cutting and they can reflect on it and say well that's interesting I wonder what the person was trying to say um uh but for others you know they can't listen to anything you know that it becomes almost like a a personal attack um and so it really does happen in in the listening I think in a way part of part of your answer there was you know I just try to live it I just try to be coachable and if I can be an example of it then maybe my people will follow me which I think is absolutely the best way to to bring that about yeah so you're obviously um been in the world of cancer for for a long time um uh tell us why you know and then I'd love to get into just a few a few little um ideas on you know how should we be thinking about cancer how should we um as As Leaders as human beings what what what if anything should we be doing when it comes to being proactive around this subject uh we'd love all your your thoughts and advice yeah it's it's my my movement to this organization and to the cancer world has been kind of kind of an interesting one I think what kind of natural progression if you will I you know I started out my career in medicine as a as a family physician just just taking guided everything it was one of the old school guys even though I'm not that old I don't think I'm that old anyway but you know and uh you know the very early 2000s 2003 you know I had my own practice and I did everything from newborns to inpatient to you know around in the hospital and it was a great experience it took care of everyone one of my first true interactions with someone with cancer was a young man I still think of him today he was he was 32 33 I believe that had a terrible um appendicial carcinoma I remember him coming in he had three young daughters just a beautiful daughters he came into the clinic and was having abdominal pain I'm like oh you've got you know you've got you've got pink you've got appendicitis or it's what it seems like so I thought I'm gonna get a scam and I remember the radiologist calling again still hear her voice you know and said Hey Kevin you know thanks for sending this guy over and I'm like oh he's got kind of side of sudden he's like no no he's got he's got what looks like mucus had no carcinoma in the appendix and it's not good and I remember that Journey with he and his wife and his three daughters and I went to his funeral and it just it kind of was that first step that kind of moved me to think that there's medicine is composed of all these different areas you've got you know of course mental health to get preventive care and then you've got you know chronic illness and then you've also got this terrible illness of cancer that affects people throughout all spectrum of Ages and I felt like I I really wanted to take care of people when they were the most sick so I moved to just doing Hospital medicine it wasn't just oncology based um but ultimately did did start working in the hospital space with with cancer treatment centers in America um you know during that time as well shortly after that young man was diagnosed my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and and um and then kind of it reframed him he was an executive he owned a transportation company a truck mine um brilliant man wonderful guy you know hard-nosed uh uh you know Sicilian but at the same time was was very loving father and the cancer gave him an opportunity to be much more loving and open with us myself my brothers anyways I got into working at Cancer Treatment Centers of America I realized that we weren't the the unique care that we offered to people which was very much patient-centered it was about Expediting the delivery of oncology from the time of diagnosis to treatment we were not affecting enough people you know we were only looking at it as a disease process in the individual during that treatment time and felt like that I could help move that organization to affect people in a broader sense right and so either made enough noise or create enough conflict or or solve enough problems that I was asked to come out to Phoenix and lead the Arizona Market into our new era as we as we just got you know purchased by City of Hope at the Duarte California and I think now we really need to move and I've been really pushing this to to even expand to education to prevention to early diagnosis and treatment because the space oncology is quickly shifting from disease management for a short period of time to a broader spectrum of hey we can identify you know earlier and earlier who may be at risk for for particularly for certain cancers hopefully educate them on making lifestyle changes that will improve or decrease their likelihood of actually developing a malignancy or giving their body ability to keep things at Bay and then and then early detection and then treatment the earlier you compress that the more likely you could have an impact on people and it's I think we as an organization need to move more toward you know education prevention and then treatment as well as as kind of not an afterthought but a but a tertiary thing rather than something that we react to we do that medicine all the time we react to problems rather than you know prevent identify and fix and so um that's that's really you know kind of how I got into this was where people have touched my life in cancer and and it's going to touch every one of us I mean honestly it's one in four people get diagnosed with cancer um in their lifetime so I mean everybody who's listening to this I'm sure both you and I have got close people have been touched you know multiple times by itself um is that right it's one in four huh yeah wow well yeah my my father as you know passed away about three years ago from small cell lung cancer and I'm still not happy about that you know I still um a mad frankly and on Sundays because I feel like I got jipped out of out of a fuller life with him um and even though I had a we knew for about a year that it was it was an aggressive form of cancer and that you know he had probably had about a year to live and sure enough it was almost exactly a year and I spent a ton of time with them and asked him a million questions and I wrote his eulogy and gave it to him before he passed and I felt like I had dotted my eyes and crossed my teeth and I was you know good to go and then he passed away and two days later I had a thousand more questions you know and and uh every day it seems like I think of him you know a few years later it's like uh it's it is a it's the worst and and thank God for folks like you guys who are are doing this doing this work and trying to push I love this idea of um would you say Lifestyle Changes in early detection how do we get further in front of this well I think yeah it's imperative on on us as you know Executives leaders superintendents other people is to to really I mean there's so much move right now in what like um um you know leaders picking up a social justice cause or whatever why not focus on the individual and focus on you know their wellness and really be a champion of getting people you know to protect their own life in a way you know they would protect others you know and so I think it's imperative on us to to educate make available for people you know again a lot of it can be through prevention in the sense that you know we do know that 40 of cancers are induced by lifestyle you know choices so although people smoking has declined dramatically people still smoke a lot um you know and now they're vaping and doing other things that impact their lungs and inflammation you know we know that you know there's there is a push for a lot of people to become more physically fit and not as heavy as they used to be but still there's a lot of obesity in this country that's a big risk factor for all sorts of different cancer diagnoses and so you know if we can can help people change that and then truly Embrace those handful of screening dust that we've got available you know and if we as leader can make it you know a big push to to make certain that 100 of our of our employees our colleagues that meet the criteria for screening actually get it done on a regular basis you know we can we can really improve outcomes because the earlier do you find this stuff small cell is a great example lung cancer is you know unfortunately it's often found late but now if you can find these things early a lot of them are completely curable if you will through certain interventions so um we we have to do a better job of that we have to focus on that as ciety as well so we have many other things to focus on too though so there's plenty of work to be done right yeah it reminds me of this book I just pull up the Shelf here called the uh the end of Alzheimer's yeah Dr Brunson have you heard of it I've heard of it I've not read it um just just really fascinating about basically he makes the analogy that you know if you've got 36 holes in your roof then you need to go to work on patching all those you know and even if you only patch 30 that's at least some progress um and a lot of it gets back to these lifestyle Behavior choices that we we have to own our as individuals you know we have to take ownership over because if we can start to impact those things then he's seeing a A reduced likelihood for Alzheimer's you know later in life and I would I would imagine it's the same idea when it comes to to cancer um so if you were to if you were to give the audience sort of one thing you know what when it comes to cancer to be thinking about is it a lifestyle thing is it a test that they should go get earlier in life what would you say is the is at the top of that list yeah I think you know first is is really understanding their family history for certain things I mean it's it's not a lot I mean right now we don't say this but we don't know a lot of things right now still there's a lot of information coming um you know everyone thinks of family risk is a primary you know risk factor for developing cancer and we only know a handful really of tumors that are definitely associated with genetic defects right now however you know it's it's amazing it seems like every month or so people are identifying our scientists are identifying you know future things that may put individuals at risk for for developing certain cancers I think the first thing that I would tell everyone here as far as reducing their risk would be number one don't ever smoke I mean it's like it's just it's without it goes without saying but it still amazes me there were people who smoke when you go around young people it's not even do it when you're young it doesn't make sense um and make sure that you maintain a healthy weight I mean and and then the third thing there's no evidence to this is just by personal opinion I think we need to avoid a lot of these processed you know foods and artificial sweeteners and flavor enhancers and all that stuff just because it can't be good I mean it's just they just can't be good uh you know it's never a good thing to to make things artificial if it's if it exists in nature so don't expose yourself to that stuff because we just don't know yet um there are a handful of screening tests that are that are known to be very beneficial the United States task force preventive Services outlines those and everyone knows them they're the mammography if you're a woman breast you know it's it's things like like colonoscopies colon cancer is there's a there is a an epidemic of a release of unfortunately aggressive right-sided colon tumors and young men for some reason right now I mean just like we've never seen before in the 30s didn't exist before and you know there's all sorts of theories going around as to why but there may be some evidence on you know that Ultra processed foods and all these other things but so colon cancer screening is a must for anyone over 45 years of age I don't care if you think it's a terrible you know test and you don't want a colonoscopy get the stinking thing done or at least go get one of the blood tests or other things that's available that you know may lead to a colonoscopy but your best bet is defining a good gastroenterologist and get your colonoscopy if you're if you are a smoker and have smoked I mean look talk to your doctor about lung cancer screening because that's it is a study that can improve outcomes dramatically for individuals who meet the criteria for it and I think the numbers are visible I think only like eight percent of people who are eligible for lung cancer screening are giving you right now that number may be off I don't know maybe even lower in some areas and higher in others but it's it is abysmal how few people are getting screened for lung cancer again a stage 1A cancer can be curable through resection through cutting it out or irradiating it and so um there are some benefits there I think the future is bright though when we look at the genomic markers and the way you know these scientists today are pulling to members out you know creating you know
vaccines or identification of the body to actually fight the tumor from its own ability is pretty impressive so I think the future's right in oncology it's going to still continue to be a battle because we're never changing organism but you know live well and always smile
well it's uh we're just like organizations you know we we organizations are organisms and we don't think about that way but if you want to have a healthy culture within your team you have to continuously work at it um you don't it's not a one and done sort of sort of exercise and I think net net what I hear from you is take ownership of your health you know um get be informed you know um and then take action don't don't wait for your doctor to to do it for you you know really take take ownership over your own healthy lifestyle
well let's wrap up um with a a book recommendation if you've got one for us yeah um you know uh I do read quite a bit but not as much as I should I one of the most impactful books on uh that I've read uh and just because it's moving and it kind of makes you think of who you are as a creature and if I was uh is a small book by Carol House Lander the read of God not sure if you've ever read it it's it's you know I may turn some people off because it's very Marian theology um in a sense but it really is a a tone almost poetic writing by Carol house later I think she was at World War II or something about you're becoming this vessel like this this open this ability to kind of fulfill your life with the gifts that are given you and um you know uh that that if you truly open yourself up in the right way if you will then things we talked earlier kind of be that read or that that opening um you can really change a lot more than just yourself and so um more than anything else it's just it's a quick read but it's just a beautiful area to poetry or nice writing and just imagery it's really a good time to kind of sit back and reflect and kind of help improve your own soul and just your outlook on things so that's something I can think of right now um it sounds like a great one sounds like a great one we could all use a little bit of uh I think filling our souls um in this day and age for sure a little hope and a little a little feel good so well fantastic well thank you for the the time again and um thank you for again the work that you and your your impressive team are doing out there to help folks um with cancer so uh thanks again yep been a great time Tom thanks