David Cannady of Bon Secours Mercy Health: 5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help…

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David Cannady of Bon Secours Mercy Health: 5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country

Be bold in your pursuit of changing society and living your life to the fullest. Me running for office is bold. I didn’t just apply for a job in the white house. I was persistent in my pursuit. I knocked on the door no one would answer so I kept knocking until I was given an opportunity.

I had the pleasure of interviewing David Cannady.

David Cannady is the chief strategy officer for Bon Secours Mercy Health, leading the ministry’s marketing, acute care business development and strategic planning teams.

Cannady came to Mercy Health in May 2017 from Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in Nashville, where he served as vice president of the Strategic Resource Group. During his tenure at HCA, David led a team that provided strategic planning and consulting for growth initiatives and hospital operations, managed reporting and progress on the strategic agenda, and helped develop strategies on service lines, clinically integrated networks and clinical co-management programs.

Before joining HCA in 2002, Cannady was a senior manager in the health care consulting group at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in Charlotte, N.C. He began his career at Richmond Memorial Hospital, now known as Memorial Regional Medical Center.

A North Carolina native, he holds a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina and a master’s degree in health administration from Duke University.

Cannady serves on the board of Cintrifuse, an innovation technology company based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to know you a bit better. What can you share about your “backstory” with us? How did you grow up? What inspired you to eventually join politics?

I grew up in California, but had to move around alot due to my father’s personal battles with addiction and crime. In middle school we moved to Washington D.C. When I was in the 8th Grade I decided I wanted to be a Lawyer. During that time I entered into a Martin Luther King Oratorical Contest. Although I did not win, I realized I enjoyed talking in front of crowds. This was the start of my connection with community work, but politics were not a part of initial plans. As a child I developed this mindset, “If you tell me I can or can’t do something, I will try to find a way to get it done.” In my teen years my family began to get involved in politics. My uncle was the first to expose me to early on, as he ran for office and helped other officials get elected. At the age of 17, I became the owner of a successful multi-million dollar business, so my uncle challenged me to give back to my community. I began my community work in college, starting with the Black Student Union, as well as The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Being involved with these two organizations led me into politics. My Uncle then introduced me to the fellowship program with Barack Obama. I became an Obama Intern then a Fellow. I realized I was successful at the work I was doing with the Barack Obama Campaign, it really piqued my interest, and so I committed to digging deeper into politics. Having the eye opening experience to sit under the leadership of President Barack Obama and his team, I realized how much positive change I can bring to the community through policy and legislature but also through inspiring people to take action! That empowering opportunity drove me to chase a new found realized dream inside of me so I can bring valuable change to improve the lives of diverse citizens across Broward County.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career or campaign? What lessons or take-aways did you take out of that story?

During my career, I have the rare and amazing opportunity to speak in front of 13,000 people during the Obama Presidential Campaign. There was a speaking engagement scheduled for Barack Obama, of which the organizers did not plan an opening speaker. At the time I was an overzealous intern, and so I offered to be the opening speaker for the event! I was granted the opportunity and was supposed to read off a three page script but I changed my mind so that didn’t happen. I ended up getting creative on the spot and I spoke from the heart instead. The speech I ended up giving got the crowd so riled up and excited for Barack Obama, it turned out to be a major milestone success for us! The excitement behind that pivotal moment put another charge inside of me to go after a career in politics.

The craziest thing regarding my current career is having a new born baby son during a global pandemic, being a husband, while running for State Attorney, working as an Attorney in the current State Attorney’s Office, and still actively building my network! Thankfully I have a loving wife, mother, sister in law, and awesome team who is here to support me on my journey.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story of a particular person that you helped?

Being a prosecutor I see and experience many things. When I am able to see the effect of change and turn it into a policy that can do good for the entire system, that is what I enjoy. My mentee Keenan for example, his father died of drug use, his mother died shortly after that when he was a young. He and his young siblings went to live with their grandmother who died when Keenan was 17 years old. Keenan being the oldest and feeling the weight of the world on his shoulder, he rebelled to crime, committed a carjacking and got arrested. He received a heavy sentence but did 2 years in jail and 5 years of probation. He showed up at my courtroom one day with his boss, a woman who took a chance on him and allowed him to live in the back of her establishment. He told me his story and that he wants to exterminate the case so that he could go to college and change his life. We put in a motion to terminate his probation. We went before a judge, he told the judge his story and asked the judge to terminate his probation. Keenan wanted to be a positive example for his younger sibling that they can do anything and surpass their mistakes no matter what! The entire courtroom was in tears and the judge ruled in his favor. I provided Keenan with all my contact information and helped him get into college. Things like that are the kind of good I look forward to doing when I am State Attorney!

Which specific things do you plan to do to help the vulnerable in our society?

We have a lot of vulnerable residents in our community. Many of these people are victimized in different ways, primarily by abuse. For the elderly, I would strengthen our Elderly Abuse Unit by adding additional prosecutors. We only have two prosecutors for 17% of our community. Human trafficking unit has only one prosecutor and Broward County has the #1 human trafficking rating in the entire state of Florida. I believe we need to thorougly educate the community on the readily available resources, while partnering with our local and federal criminial justice agencies to skim the tide on human trafficking. When it comes to economic justice and marginalized communities we understand that the underlying issue with crime is poverty. We don’t want to prosecute someone because they are poor but we also don’t want to perpetuate poverty either. This is where my plan for the Education Re-Entry Program (E.N.E) will be extremely valuable. If there’s an individual who needs a job or a trade skill instead of prosecution, we would provide them with the resources necessary to become a civil citizen. In addition, there is a need to protect our veterans while expanding our resources for those who are mentally ill.

Only one in five members of Congress is a woman. This manifests itself in laws that do not always take women’s needs into account. What needs to be done to create greater parity in our representation?

Thankfully, Broward County State Attorney’s Office has a majority of women staff. We are very diverse in terms of gender. Where we are not diverse and could use the change is in the compensation. People of color are being paid the minimum, which is much less than Caucasian staff members and Women are being paid the least. As State Attorney, I would make sure staff is compensated based on work experience, skill level, and tenure.

This is clearly not an easy job. What drives you?

I am a strong believer of the saying, “If you see something, you say something, and you do something!” It is my duty to run for office and win, so I can utilize this platform to create the change that needs to happen. I have a passion for effective change in our community. Too many families have been negatively impacted by this system’s need of reform and as well as the 21st century prosecuting. I’ve seen this system tear families apart, rather than build people up for a brighter future and that just isn’t right. It is important to ensure that minority families are well and secure.

Murder rates in Broward County are up which means, we have to ensure that prosecution is done properly. Both victims and defendants need to be fairly protected with equitable justice. Minorities are the vast majority and the foundation of our community! We need to provide protection for our most vulnerable populations. The black woman is plagued by human trafficking and sexual abuse, and the numbers show it.

Protecting our most vulnerable communities should be a priority. The State Attorney has the ability to uplift the community and keep all citizens safe. I am stepping up to ignite real change that will impact the trajectory of society for generations to come.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first ran for office” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

You’ll be away from your family more than you think you will.

Don’t have a baby in the middle of the campaign.

Forget what you think you know about a campaign.

It is an immense responsibility.

You’re on the phone all day.

Learn boundaries, Set time aside, for yourself and family.

The United States is currently facing a series of unprecedented crises. So many of us see the news and ask how we can help. Can you please share your “Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country”. Kindly share a story or example for each.

Let your voice be heard: one thing that I love about this generation is we don’t sit on the sidelines we get up and do. Continue to participate. Don’t let anyone tell you your activism is worthless. Your activism is necessary to keep our democracy going. You don’t have a Civil Rights revolution without having young people getting involved.

Get involved in your local community. Use your youth to your advantage: the energy and passion that permeates it knocks down doors. You can get more done as a young person then as an older person just because you’re young.

Don’t rely on just the elected officials. Get out and initiate change yourself

Go out and make money so you can help someone. Understand your economic base. Get out there and make money and make sure you have a power base.

Be bold in your pursuit of changing society and living your life to the fullest. Me running for office is bold. I didn’t just apply for a job in the white house. I was persistent in my pursuit. I knocked on the door no one would answer so I kept knocking until I was given an opportunity.

All you need is an opportunity :so make it count. When somebody says show me what you got knock their socks off.

Develop a hustler mentality: I think about the Master P story: I’m not going to sleep until I complete this task, I am going to stay up all night to study for the LSAT until I can get into the college I want. Persistence is key.

Learn from any and everything.

We are going through a rough period now. Are you optimistic that these issues can eventually be resolved? Can you explain?

Yes, I am extremely optimistic that we are going to recover from the life-changing occurrences of 2020! The USA is built on struggle. During slavery black people did not ever believe freedom would come for them out of slavery. During the Jim Crow era, Abraham Lincoln was killed 45 years before Thurgood Marsahall was born in 1967. Thurgood Marshall then becomes the first black Supreme Court Justice. No one ever thought coming from slavery we would every have a Black Supreme Court Justice. Every generation has its struggle; this is our generational struggle. Past accounts of history reveals to us that we know how to fly, overcome, and surpass oppression. This time is no different than any other. We are poised and ready to go, to overcome the complexities of society.

What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?

Please follow and support my work via social media @votedavidcannady on facebook, Instagram, and twitter! Check out my website: www.davidcannady.com

Email: infodavidcannady.com

Thank you for these excellent insights! We wish you continued success.

Thank you so much for the amazing opportunity to share my story and passion on your wonderful platform. I support the growth of our business sector and I’m pleased to be a collaborative partner however I can. The pleasure is all mine!

David Cannady of Bon Secours Mercy Health: 5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.