Director's Note - Fall 2020


If you are like me, the phrases like “new normal”, “it is what it is” and “social distancing”, which I’ve heard so often, have almost numbed me to our reality. I am left wondering if the COVID pandemic will have its own chapter in history, not just for the terrible deaths it has caused, but the aftermath on our emotions, state of well-being and connection to one another as peers and neighbors. In spite of COVID and unconsciously accepting its disruption, I was recently thrust into reflecting on the GIFT that is hometown healthcare when I faced a medical crisis and emergency surgery. I asked myself the frightening question “What if Meritus Health wasn’t here, in my community? What would I have done when I needed emergency care and time was a priority?”

How many of us have turned to our doctors and nurses in the last 6 months? Not for just COVID care or screening, but for medication refills? How many slips, trips and falls have broken the bones of our children and grandparents? How many people have suffered heart attacks and strokes? How many car accidents have brought our loved one’s in by ambulance? What if?

I’ve always known I have been passionate about health care but now, more than ever, it’s personal. Our hospital (an army of nurses, providers, therapists and support staff) has been here for me and my family when we turned to them for help and healing. They have been here for you, too, every day providing relief to our pain, healing to our injuries and support to our grief.

As a non-profit hospital, the care you have come to expect and the innovation that Meritus Health has to offer is only possible through the support of us - her community. As a community, it is our responsibility to value the gift that she offers: her doors are always open, she turns no one away regardless of their ability to pay, and she fixes the broken bones and broken hearts without a moment’s rest. I challenge you to ask yourself, “What have I done for her? Have I assumed or taken her for granted? Have I just expected a hospital in my back yard? Have I encouraged, supported and bolstered her enough in quiet and now tough times?” Meritus Health is ours, our community’s hospital, and it is only through our encouragement and support that she will be at her best for the next ambulance to pull up or the next baby to be born.

I ask you today to ponder on what I have shared. If you, like me, realize the value in healing for our community to share your story, spread the message and if you are able, to financially help - to make a contribution today.

Humbly healed and gratefully yours,

Jen Maust Bowers