There are a lot of teachers that influenced my life and gave me the confidence to assert myself, to challenge and to ask questions. I remember a particular teacher in high school, Mr. Conklin, who encouraged me to not settle for the status quo and to push the norms. He’s a teacher I thank for his guidance in helping me develop as a young man.
My sister and my sister-in-law are also teachers, and I respect what they do to motivate children every day in their classrooms. Teaching is a job that is truly critical to our society, and it’s also proven to be critical to public health.
Research has shown Americans with more education live longer, healthier lives than those with fewer years in the classroom. And we all know from our own childhoods how influential teachers can be in sparking our desire to learn and further our education.
Great teachers know how to enthuse and connect with their students. They are able to engage and teach by inspiring and challenging. Skillful educators do far more than teach academics. They teach us to become good citizens and members of society.
I’m truly thankful for all our teachers who devote their lives to helping motivate and mold our next generation.
Pat Geraghty is Chief Executive Officer of GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation and Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company. A dynamic speaker, he is considered an expert voice on a range of health care topics including health care reform in the U.S., next generation payment strategies, innovation in health care and the benefits of wellness and prevention programming. He is frequently sought after for his expertise and insights by national media outlets as well as officials in Washington, D.C., and Tallahassee, Fla. Pat is active in leading several professional and community organizations including serving as chair of the Florida Council of 100, a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization of Florida business leaders who advise the state’s governor on how to improve economic growth in the state and the economic well-being of its residents. In 2016, Pat became a member of the Health Governors Community of the World Economic Forum. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, degree from Florida Southern College. He also has completed executive education programs at Harvard University School of Public Health and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.