This past week Desirae had to go it alone from Sunday afternoon until late Wednesday night since I was in Chicago for an ACHE Conference. I had a great time catching up with some USC classmates and attending a variety of classes about healthcare. One of the more important things that I did was go out to dinner with the Chief Executive and VP of Operations at Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla. I've applied for a permanent position there (my fellowship is only for a year and it's over at the end of June). We ate a great restaurant called Hugos. It shares a kitchen with the famous Gibson's in the Rush Street section of town. I had a great meal and was able to get to know my future boss better ;)
This is the lovely view from my room in the Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel (Marriott) which was located across the street from the Hilton, Chicago.
I think that it's been newly remodeled since it had nice granite counter tops and an decent sized LCD TV.
This is a picture of part of the Lobby in the Chicago Hilton where the conference was hosted. It was very lavish. My preceptor and boss, Chris Van Gorder, is the chairman elect so he was staying in one of the suites. He invited all of us from Scripps to come up to his room for drinks and to chat one evening. His room was huge! I think it was a quarter of the hotel floor. He was told that many dignitaries had stayed in that room over the years. Some notable names included Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.
During one of my breaks between classes, I went down to the exhibit area where several schools with MHA programs were represented. Since I knew that Eric had applied to UAB and VCU, I decided to visit their booths and ask them some questions about their programs. In speaking with them I mentioned that my younger brother had applied and I was pleasantly surprised to find that a student from each school had interviewed Eric. The guy from UAB seemed really excited about Eric so I thought that was a good sign. Come to find out that was definitely the case since Eric got a call on Friday with the great news that he has been accepted to UAB's MHA program. (Congratulations, Eric!)
On Tuesday night, Kim's family came into the big city and we all went out to eat at the food court in the mall. Afterwards we went to the American Girl doll shop (one of only two in the nation) and a few other stores before going on a car tour of the city. We went by Wrigley Field and Sears Tower. Despite the limited time it was great to see all of the Fowlers. If I had been better about planning things, I would have taken a class on Thursday morning and flown back to San Diego on Thursday night so I could have spent more time with the Fowlers. (There's always next year).
Overall, I think it was a great conference and I look forward to meeting up with Eric one of these years.