Day In The Life

The Hits Just Keep on Coming in the Fairfield Region

By Robin Stanley

When Bill Jennings became president of the Fairfield Region in July 2021, he brought with him a unique tradition: At the beginning of each Fairfield Region Leadership Forum, he plays “arrival music,” a song he carefully chooses as colleagues arrive at the meeting, both in person and virtually.

Jennings has been using arrival music at the start of meetings for several years, inspired by the walk-out songs played when Major League Baseball players come onto the field from the dugout.

“Music is everywhere in our lives,” he said. “Music is at celebrations, it’s at weddings, it’s at college football games, it’s at dances, it’s at church. It’s everyplace in our life except work.”

Jennings said he chooses songs with upbeat, positive vibes. Sometimes, the tunes reflect the seasons, such as Halloween and Christmas.

“I think it helps start the meeting very subtly, in a positive manner,” he said. “It’s such a small thing, but even if it brings a tiny bit of joy as we gather, mission accomplished.”

Director of Clinical Operations-Nursing Elizabeth Carrena agreed. “Athletes such as boxers, runners, and swimmers walk into their competitive venues with music playing loudly or headphones on, playing preselected playlists that build up their confidence and foster the mentality of a champion.

Music helps these champions get into a winners’ mindset and a zone that renders them invincible and fearless,” she said. “Playing music prior to leadership forum facilitates celebration and recognition of leaders as champions who can get the work done. Keep the music playing!”

For the record, funk is Jennings’ “go-to” music genre. Favorites include Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Ohio Players, The Commodores, Parliament, Average White Band, The Gap Band, Dr. John, Kool, and the Gang, Earth Wind & Fire, Chic, B.T. Express, Loose Ends, Shalamar, The S.O.S. Band, The Whispers, Cameo, and the Bar-Kays.

Pictured: St. Vincent’s Medical Center President Bill Jennings, foreground, likes going out on the road to visit the team. Here, he takes a selfie with, from left: Nurse Manager, Kara Diffley; Department of Psychiatry Chair, Dr. Andre Newfield; Behavioral Health Services Director, Joyce Platz; and Quality & Patient Safety Coordinator, Jamie Gilbert.