Recently, astronaut Scott Kelly answered children’s questions about life aboard the space station. When asked what he sees as he looks back at Earth, Kelly spoke of the beauty of the planet – you don’t see political or geographic lines delineating states and countries. To the contrary, Kelly said we all look remarkably similar, that we all are TEAM Planet Earth, that we are intertwined and need to collectively take care of this precious resource.

In health care, we certainly appreciate our global connection dealing with the Ebola crisis last year. A global TEAM Planet Earth response was needed – constraining the virus at its source, treating infected patients in this and other countries, and screening and preparing for potential infections right here in Illinois.

As we move into August with a continued political and state budget impasse, we could all heed Kelly’s good advice. Just like TEAM Planet Earth, here in Illinois we are in this together. Our future is intertwined regardless of political, geographic or philosophical differences.

What happens to one of us impacts ALL of us – the wealthy, the middle class, and those who are disadvantaged; our children, our seniors, our families; the private sector and government; health care, community services, and social services.

We can move beyond our differences and solve our issues if we step back and view our precious resource – a state that ensures the health and well-being of all our residents – from a different vantage point and all join TEAM Illinois.