Important Ideas Have Wings of Their Own

By June M. McKoy, MD, MPH, JD, MBAImage

Last year I sat on my couch watching Melissa Harris-Perry while shouting my opinions at a non-receptive television screen. This year I write my opinions and people listen…and they respond….and I am amazed.

How did this transformation occur? How did I move from the couch to the computer? I am a Public Voices Fellowship participant at Northwestern University. I use phrases like “to be sure” and “elasticity of timeliness” and I share my ideas and thoughts with 19 other incredible men and women from across my university.

To be sure, the OpEd Project has empowered me to take my germinating ideas, coupled with my niche expertise, to provide thought-provoking solutions that accelerate change.  It is an undeniable truth that whoever tells the story writes history.

This incredible program has become my bridge to thought leadership. It is providing me the opportunity to make an impact in an area that really matters to me and the constituency that I serve. It has catapulted my colleagues and I from near obscurity to emerging thought leaders whose ideas are sought and whose voices and words have the potential to make far-reaching impact in our defined spaces and beyond the borders of our campus.

While session 1 explored the transition from leader to thought leader, session 2 pulled the pieces together and the puzzle took shape and life…and we rejoiced. We learned about connecting, about embracing our hunches, and we explored the concept of cross pollination.

We learned that while time is undoubtedly important, important ideas are enduring and have wings of their own; that ideas can be paired or coupled with topical happenings and that they eventually will come to nest in a place of their own.

The OpEd project has galvanized me to think outside the box, to aspire to change the world’s conversations, to be truly credible and transformative. And the year is not yet over.

June M. McKoy, MD, MPH, JD, MBA is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where she serves as the Director of Geriatric Oncology for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and as the Director of the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. McKoy recently launched the SOAR (Senior Oncology Outcomes, Advocacy and Research) Program within the Cancer Center.

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