Harry J. Harwick Award for Lifetime Achievement

Presented to David J. Bachrach, FACMPE/FACHE

MGMA/ACMPE October 30, 2007

Philadelphia, PA


Bachrach’s Remarks Following Presentation

Thank you to Nick Kupferle/Sarah Holt, PhD

Acknowledgement of Family


My Mother passed away almost two years ago and all of us sure have missed her.  My Dad was so looking forward to being here for this event.  He was visiting us in Colorado in August and on the day before he was to return to Florida he had a stroke.  There is nothing like interacting with our US healthcare system as a family member to appreciate how much opportunity we have to simplify and improve upon its arcane structures. 


Dad is still recovering in a skilled nursing facility but hopes to move to an Assisted Living Facility in November.  He’s here in spirit and will get a DVD of today’s events. 


Brothers (Bob, Richard & Judi, and Michael and Nancy) 

You don’t get to choose your siblings but I must confess I drew some pretty good ones. We have been drawn closer by our parent’s health issues.  Here today are my brothers Bob and Richard and Richard’s wife Judi.  Also, Linda’s sister Nancy and husband Michael.


Julie, Josh & Sarah

There is absolutely nothing that tops the pride Linda and I have in our children.  Julie and Jos,h and his wife Sarah.  Both Julie and Josh have chosen to be school teachers…Julie in Harlem and Josh in mid-town Manhattan.  Sarah is an urban planner specializing in public transportation … and I now carry not one, but two subway passes in my wallet for my travels in NYC and in DC.


Linda (with whom I share this award)

The love of my life and my partner through all of life’s joys and sorrows, Linda is an equal recipient in the Harwick Award for without her I never could have done those things that have lead to this award.  She is truly co-pilot on our life’s journey.


I want to recognize some others who’ve been a part of my life’s journey and who, like our children, serve as a large part of the raison d’etre for the work we do.


Acknowledgement of Proteges/Mentees (Slide #1)

o   These are just a few of those whom I’ve had the privilege to mentor


o   One of the things I tell physician leaders whom I am coaching is that the presence of a well developed and sincere mentoring program is the sign of a responsible and mature community


Notice Julie Lowery, my first protégé and the first HJH Scholarship recipient in 1979 (Slide #2)



Acknowledgement of Bachrach Family Scholars (Slide #3)


(Transition Slide #4 What the HJH Achievement Award means to me)



          Three Stages (Learning/Earning/Returning)

  • I am humbled by this award and the regard with which I am held by my colleagues who have seen fit to convey it to me today.  This is especially true knowing the others who were nominated this year and how equally deserving they are of this recognition … true professionals all, they were the first to call and congratulate me upon receiving notice of the award.


  • Linda and I feel like we should accept only 2/3s of this award.  As we hurdle toward 60 I would like to believe that we have much more to contribute before we can claim to have earned a ‘lifetime of achievement’.  Let us all agree that a portion of this award is a pre-payment on future deliverables!



  • I have truly lived a charmed life … wonderful parents, a loving wife, fantastic children and a great family.  I have served some of the best institutions in the country working with knowledgeable and committed colleagues who are among the leaders in their fields.


  • Linda and I decided early on that a fulfilling life meant that we would have a lasting impact on our respective fields and the people with whom we work … what I spoke to four years ago in this hall when I talked of the importance of leaving a legacy … laying down a righteous path that others would follow.     We’ve thought of this as a journey which includes three overlapping and intersecting commitments that are a part of a balanced life … and we agreed that we would impart these values to our children and to others we have touched. 



  • These values are characterized by the activities of: (Slide # 5

§  Learning (explain below)

§  Earning (explain below), and

§  Returning (explain below)

Let me use a timeline to highlight for you how these activities have served to guide us (Slide #6).  Each of you in the room can place yourself on this timeline … I hope that each of you will think deeply about the opportunity to make similar commitments in your own lives.


  • First, Learning. (Slide #7– night we were engaged – age 20) Learning, a life-long process beginning at birth and extending throughout life … not to be taken for granted but to be revisited again and again … with a special new enjoyment now in our later years.


  •  For us, the learning process will continue throughout our lives but was most intense in our teens and 20s, even as we began our careers.   This was a time for soaking up knowledge and developing our basic leadership skills.


  • (Slide #8– J&J as 2 & 4) Earning, beginning in our 20s and continuing as an active process into our 60s, it allows us to invest in our children’s future and prepare them to be servant leaders in their own right…and,


  • While our Learning continued through our 30s … and continues today, this was also a time for Earning.  Julie and Josh were born and we began to build equity and set funds aside for their education and for our own retirement.  It was also at this time that I began mentoring young healthcare professionals.  My work with emerging and developing healthcare leaders continues today and is among the most rewarding of my professional activities … I highly recommend doing this to all of you.



  • (Slide #9 – Christmas at MD Anderson) Returning, is the process of giving back to others, to our communities and to the next generation of healthcare leaders.  It is a process that continues well beyond our earning years and even after our deaths by virtue of the structures that we put into place to assure that our legacy is secure.


  • In our 40s we began Returning in earnest … our children were old enough to participate in activities that included giving back to our community.  Here we are on one of the many Christmas mornings we spent delivering gifts and good cheer to patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center … a most memorable time in our family lore.  A few years later our kids headed off to college and began to craft their own lives, incorporating the lessons of their youth in their own activities.


  • (Slide #10 – Sarah joins the family for Thanksgiving for the first time) In our 50s, college was finished and our children were independent (more or less) with careers of their own.  We are so proud of their decision to go into teaching where they give of themselves every day.  (slide #11 – Wedding photo) This is also the time when our family began to grow and Sarah officially joined the Bachrachs.  It was also a time when Linda and I committed to make some major investments in the lives of others by sharing in our good fortune by endowing the Bachrach Family Scholarship for Excellence in Healthcare Administration and creating other endowments that will support community programs that will address Spirituality and the Environment.


(Slide #12)


  • While Linda and I have worked hard for everything we’ve got, we’ve had incredible good fortune as well.  We live in a beautiful place…this is a picture from our back deck looking West as the rising sun hits the Flatirons of the front range of the Rockies on a crystal clear morning following an overnight snowfall in November 2002.


  • We enjoy our lives together, basking in the success and commitment of our children to values we embrace. Now, little gives us greater pleasure then investing our time, energy and resources in the development of others in our respective fields and watching them grow into successful and caring professionals in their own right.


  • We are truly fortunate.  We have our family, our children and a whole extended network of men and women whom we’ve had the good fortune to know and work with over the years.  As we move into our 60s, and beyond, we look forward to continuing this work as we enter this next stage in our lives together … and earn the last 1/3rd of the Harwick Lifetime Achievement Award.



  • Thank you all for your support in the past, and your friendship now and in the future, and for this wonderful award.  In closing, Linda and I ask that each of you make a commitment to your own journey of giving … and please, please, please … enjoy the journey.





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