The Stakeholder Doctor
I first met Dr. Alberto Gedissman when I attended a public presentation he was sponsoring at Children’s Hospital of Orange County where, at the time, he was Director of Pediatric Services. The topic of the public presentation was Violence and the Media. The topic interested me because of my studies in media literacy, and because it was so unexpected to have a presentation of this type sponsored by someone in the medical community. Since that first meeting with Dr. Gedissman, I have learned to always expect the unexpected from him.
A man of passion, who truly loves serving children and their families, he eventually felt great despair with the growing numbers of ailments he saw in his day-to-day practice related to childhood obesity. Over time, he knew he had to take action. His first step was to take his own medical practice in a new direction: preventative care. But with this new direction, Dr. Gedissman had to move beyond his role as a doctor and was forced to put on his stakeholder leader hat by bringing financial and insurance services into alignment with his ideas. But he didn’t stop there either. To truly combat the epidemic of obesity, he had to invite community leaders from throughout the neighborhoods he wanted to serve, including school leaders, city government leaders, and business leaders. He recognized it would take all of them to set a new standard and a new, consistent example for healthy living in the community.