A beacon of light in trying times.

A week rarely goes by where I don’t receive a note from a grateful patient, family, or community member recognizing how different we are from so many other healthcare organizations they have experienced.

When I speak to each group of new associates during orientation, I stress that the reason we are different is because we understand the roots of our tree, the foundation of our organization, and the core of our collective being, is the summation of the character qualities of each individual who works here.  The L.O.V.E. Promise is the realization that these character qualities are foundational to our ability to Live Our Values Every day.  Exceptional, Honorable, Devoted, Reliable, and Kind.  Five words that describe an approach to living that result in our fellow associates, our patients, and our community members feeling Love as it is intended to be, and that is expressed so well in our unofficial motto, “What a blessing it is to work in a place where we love people for a living.”

During the height of the pandemic, our country appeared to be embracing the concepts we hold so dear here at Hancock Health.  How quickly things have changed.  An evil act by police officers in Minneapolis was the match that lit a raging fire that threatens to split our country apart.  As people rightly take to the streets in peaceful protest to express their revulsion to this horrific event, and to re-focus our attention on the underlying issues it exposes, their honorable intent is frequently hijacked by those desiring to spread fear, malice, and chaos.

While we live in a world where many issues seem so gray, there are areas where right and wrong are clear.  Judging a person on the color of their skin, their cultural heritage, their religion, their gender characteristics, is never appropriate.  As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so famously said, it is the “content of our character” that should define us, not our external attributes. There is simply no place in our society for discrimination and hatred, and we must stand against all attempts to practice them.  Similarly, there is no place for defiance of the laws that protect us or for those who would bring anarchy to our streets.

At Hancock Health, our values guide us to ensure all the people we interact with feel the respect and dignity they deserve as unique individuals created in the image of God.  Our values also guide us to care for our community and to support the government officials we have elected to lead us and to sustain the first responders they have chosen to protect our families, our homes, and our livelihoods.

At this crucial time in our nation’s history, I urge you to remember the unique role we play in our community and the need to hold ourselves accountable to the values that define us.  We must especially be aware of the words we use and the way we make people feel.  My personal pledge to you is that we will not waiver from this course and we will continue to shine as a beacon of hope and healing to all the people in our region, and to each other.