Baseball’s post-season has started, and there has been a bit of attention given by our local media to the prospect of a Beltway Series between the Orioles and the Nationals. If that happens, it will be amazing.

But around the rest of the league the big baseball story this week has been the retirement of Derek Jeter after 20 seasons as the Yankees’ shortstop (serving as team captain since 2003). Jeter helped the Yankees win five World Series Championships, and over his career he had 3,464  hits in 2,746 games played, along with a stellar attitude and career both on and off the field. As far as shortstops go, around here we still favor Cal Ripken, but there is lots of room for appreciation for both of them.

By all accounts, even from those who grumble about everything and anything, Jeter has been the consummate professional. He played his entire career with the Yankees. He always gave it his best. And his life off the field has been free of scandal and controversy in spite of the fact that he has been in the bright lights of the media since he was 19 years old. Maybe I’m just buying into the conventional thinking, but it seems like he has earned the accolades coming his way.

In a quick scan of all the media coverage, there was one thing that seems abundantly true about Derek Jeter that just didn’t come up. No one has mentioned him as a role model for stewardship.  Now, before you shake your head and click through to your next message, think about it for a minute.

We take personal responsibility for the efficient and effective accomplishment of our mission.

The Adventist HealthCare Statement of Values includes the following Value and Description.

Stewardship: We take personal responsibility for the efficient and effective accomplishment of our mission. That is how we describe our value of stewardship—being efficient, effective, and committed to accomplishing our mission.

While Jeter isn’t in healthcare, maybe we can learn something from him. He has always stayed focused. He has worked hard to be the best he can be; even during his slumps, he kept at it, kept working, and kept focused. And he has come back every spring, year after year, for two decades—always determined to be more focused and more effective than the year before.

In healthcare we don’t have a season and an offseason, but there are still cycles that mark our work. Some are personal—like the number of years we have served or achievements along the way. Some are corporate—like the number of people with whom we interact and whose lives are changed (and saved) by our care. Throughout everything we do, we want to know how we measure up to standards for excellence and efficiency.

Every milestone, each new evaluation, report, or review of services—even the budgeting process—is an opportunity for us to hold ourselves to the standard set by our values: taking personal responsibility for the efficient and effective accomplishment of our mission of demonstrating God’s care.