By Dr. Colleen Morley DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, FCM

This week, CMSA published a 5-day gratitude challenge on Facebook and LinkedIn. I decided to participate in this in a very public way by posting my answers on Facebook. I hoped to inspire everyone that is connected with me on Facebook to take a moment of gratitude every day.  

The Day One challenge was to take a moment to notice the beauty of nature. I took this opportunity to post pictures that I've taken of various flowers and plants that I encounter as I walk and also sunset pictures taken on a day very important to me, my mother’s birthday. These photos remind me of the opportunities to find beauty everywhere and that a solitary moment can bring solace and poignancy to an otherwise stressful day. 

On Day 2, the challenge was to tell someone you appreciate them and why.  My list on Facebook only touched the beginning of the list of people who I appreciate.  I realized in putting that together just how fortunate I am to have so many people in my life that have touched my world in a myriad of ways. I could go on and on with that exercise and consider myself to be blessed in that way. 

On Day 3, the challenge was to compliment someone today. This was an easy one for me as I tend to chat with everyone who comes across my path and make it a point to compliment people on something about them that interests me (usually shiny earrings, cool shoes, etc). Dr. Samantha Walker was also a very easy choice for me, as 2023 CMSA Case Manager of the Year, she inspires me with her out-of-the-box thinking, genuineness and open heart. 

On Day 4, the challenge continues with journaling three things you're grateful for. Again, this list could go on and on. My top choices reflected challenges overcome, finding my passion and direction, and people who have been incredibly supportive in many different ways and made my life richer for their presence.  

Day 5’s challenge is to do one act of kindness today. Well, it’s day 4 right now. I am excited for what tomorrow will bring! 

I hope you joined me on this challenge week.  I plan to pull this out every once in a while to remind me what a fabulous life I am blessed with and on days when things aren’t going so great, (like today when my air conditioning has broken down in 90 degree heat and cannot be replaced until next week, the toilet in my bathroom is broken and the plumber hasn’t called me back and other annoyances occur), that these are hiccups and what truly matters is right in front of us.  Take the time to appreciate it. 



Mindfulness and Gratitude go hand in hand. Gratitude allows you to notice your blessings and create balance from life’s difficulties. Mindfulness helps you handle tough times with grace, acceptance, and surrender. Mindfulness with CMSA was launched during "stress awareness month" with the goal of encouraging you to take a moment to reset. Take a look at the series here:

Bio: Dr. Colleen Morley DNP RN CCM CMAC CMCN ACM-RN FCM is the Associate Chief Clinical Operations Officer, Care Continuum for University of Illinois Health System and the current President of the Case Management Society of America National Board of Directors. She has held positions in acute care as Director of Case Management at several acute care facilities and managed care entities in Illinois, overseeing Utilization Review, Case Management and Social Services for over 14 years; piloting quality improvement initiatives focused on readmission reduction, care coordination through better communication and population health management. Her current passion is in the area of improving health literacy. She is the recipient of the CMSA Foundation Practice Improvement Award (2020) and ANA Illinois Practice Improvement Award (2020) for her work in this area. Dr. Morley also received the AAMCN Managed Care Nurse Leader of the Year in 2010 and the CMSA Fellow of Case Management designation in 2022. Her 1st book, “A Practical Guide to Acute Care Case Management”, published by Blue Bayou Press was released in February, 2022. Dr. Morley has over 20 years of nursing experience. Her clinical specialties include Med/Surg, Oncology and Pediatric Nursing. She received her ADN at South Suburban College in South Holland, IL; BSN at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL, MSN from Norwich University in Northfield, VT and her DNP at Chamberlain College of Nursing.