In my role as a healthcare marketing consultant, I get to meet a lot of people. When we conduct a brand assessment for a healthcare organizations, I might conduct 40 one-on-one interviews with stakeholders and brand constituents: government leaders, board members, business leaders, etc. Inevitably, I get to meet some of the most interesting people.
This happened last week when I was in Manchester, NH, working on a brand assessment for a local healthcare organization. I interviewed a gentleman named Dr. Sylvio Dupuis. Before meeting with Sylvio, I knew very little about his background. That changed quickly. This man, now in his early 80s, wearing a suit and tie on one of the hottest days of the year, had the most remarkable career. He shared the details of his career with such humility and a great sense of humor.
Sylvio attended the Illinois College of Optometry and started his optometry practice in Manchester in 1957. That’s where his career started. However, conducting eye exams did not satisfy his desire for serving and improving his community. After losing a campaign for Alderman, he ended up serving as Mayor of Manchester, NH for three years (1972 – 1975). He resigned from his position as Mayor to become the founding president of Catholic Medical Center (CMC) in Manchester. CMC was formed through the merger of Sacred Heart Hospital and Notre Dame Hospital. Both hospitals had very loyal constituencies. According to Sylvio, the new medical center needed a goodwill ambassador who could go out into the communities and let people know that this merger was in the best interest of the community. That was his role.
Later in his career, two separate Republican governors appointed the Sylvio (a Democrat) to be commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services in the 1980s and the state Department of Insurance in the 1990s. He served as Interim President of Notre Dame College, Executive Director of McLane Law Firm and served on the boards of Bank East, Energy North, the New Hampshire Charitable Trust Foundation and the Currier Gallery of Art. He has also served as President of the New England College of Optometry and is currently Special Assistant to the President of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
The time I spent with Dr. Dupuis was a highlight of my week. It was such an honor to have an hour to speak with such an accomplished professional whose primary ambition was to serve his community and leave it a better place. I am so grateful that this is one of the side benefits of my job. Moments like those I spent with Dr. Dupuis remind me why I do what I do.