This book is more than the story of a small, rural Oregon hospital's successful attempt to profoundly change for the better the way patients, their families and friends, staff and employees experience healthcare. It is the account of an extraordinary effort that led to a remarkable transformation of an entire organization, the man who directed it and, gradually, an industry as a whole. During the 1990s Mid-Columbia Medical Center became the first hospital to implement the patient-centered Planetree philosophy hospital-wide. The evolution of MCMC from traditional hospital to an innovative center for whole-person healing (in which traditional medicine is now integrated seamlessly with yoga, massage, acupuncture, journaling, Tai' Chi and an array of other complementary therapies) captured the attention of an entire industry, inspired articles in national media ranging from the LA Times to Time magazine, and led to site visits from administrators representing more than 1,000 hospitals in the U.S., Japan and England. This small 49-bed hospital in The Dalles, Oregon, has become a destination hospital drawing patients from over 25 states. There is no question why healthcare needed this transformation to take place...the question is how did they do it-and what can you learn from it? Whether you are a CEO, physician, nurse, department manager, board member, food service employee or volunteer, this book is rich with valuable lessons and techniques you can apply immediately to your organization, practice and career. All it takes is the Courage to Be First.