Looking Back, Looking Forward – Farewell Message by Dr Sunil Chandy

On the 22nd of September 2017, I will be finishing my term as Director of CMC Vellore and will be passing the baton of leadership to Dr J.V. Peter, who will take over as the new Director with effect from 23rd September 2017. This is a moment of reflection for me looking back at the five years I was privileged to be the Director of this great institution, CMC Vellore. I remember taking my shoes off as I stepped up the Scudder Auditorium stage to express my acceptance, knowing that where I will be for the next five years was holy ground. Just a few days later, Dr Kuruvilla Varkey and Dr Samuel Paul, Chair and Vice Chair respectively, reminded me of the immense responsibilities I was going to shoulder. It has been a blessed experience for me, with its share of joyful and painful moments. This, I now understand, is an inseparable part of leadership. I thank God Almighty for choosing me from the fringes of the institution to the centre-stage of governance. I am immensely grateful to God for this unique privilege.

This being my last message from my desk as Director, I wish to take this opportunity to reach out to thousands of people who were part of my journey. Colleagues, faculty, students, alumni, friends of Vellore, council members and patients whose engagement with me and the institution has been very enriching. I have collected a huge number of cards and trivia which will remain with me as mementos of the fun and frolic we had together. Thank you, friends, for what you have been. Thank you for support in new initiatives, criticism of outlandish ideas, prayers when the going was rough, words when I needed it most and even silence when it was too noisy on the outside. If we have achieved anything it is because we have done it together. My administrative colleagues (past and present) the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Council, Executive, Alumni, FOV formed a ring of support through all my initiatives. Thank you.

I have learnt that our institution is Gods own. One cannot fathom how it works with such a high volume of patients and limited resources. It is the modern version of feeding the five thousand with five loaves. There is a divine presence that serves as a fuel to the engine of our functioning. The resilience of our staff and their willingness to broaden their shoulders is simply unbelievable. I thank God for them, and pray that they will be blessed for the selfless service they render.

I have learnt the value of trust and good relationship. The salt of governance is undoubtedly friendship. Departments and institutions that are robust are those who have invested in people and trust. Trust must be a priority in governance and must never be replaced with lifeless processes and protocols which, in the absence of trust, can only cause breakdown of good governance. I have learnt that CMC is a community more than a college. Residency in the campus and imbibing all that it must offer adds tremendous value to the life of our staff and students. We must strive to preserve the interactions outside the domain of work, in order to foster better relationships. I have learnt that CMC is a continuum. I managed to complete the unfinished work of my predecessor, and my successor, Dr Peter, will complete mine. The goals we have set for the institution will transcend the variations of time and come to fruition in Gods good time. I thank God for the miracles and resources He provided in helping us commence some mega- projects. The healthcare needs of our country are escalating day by day. The resources are getting few and far between. We must brace ourselves for a major man power crunch in the coming years. Yet the work must surely go on and God will provide. The CMC model of education, service and research remains unique but with increasing relevance in India. I am confident that Dr J.V. Peter, our new Director, will take the challenges forward and make CMC a role model for our nation. I welcome him to the Director?s desk and hand him over the pen with which I wrote to you thus far. God Bless you all and Adios!
                                                                                                                       Sunil Chandy Outgoing Director

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