As promised, here’s the first entry in my blog. I’m still a little new to this whole blogging thing, so please bear with me as I figure it out. I will do my best to make this one of the more interesting blog sites you may visit!!
Last week was a whirlwind, but in a really good way. I met many many people (staff at the hospital, physicians, and community neighbors), presented an award at the Healthy Community Awards luncheon, almost got hit by a golf ball at the Foundation Golf Tournament (thanks Randy DeFreece!), AND helped wrap up the Community Olympics at their closing ceremonies Sunday. Whew! It didn’t take me long to figure out that Kearney is a community of surprises with so many things going on!
I've introduced myself to so many people in the last two weeks; forgive me if you’ve heard this story. For the last several years, my family and I have been living in Central Valley, New York, which is about 50 miles northwest of Manhattan. (An interesting note—Central Valley is in Orange County, home of the OC Choppers, and yes, I have had the opportunity to meet them.) We have considered the opportunity to live that close to the City that Never Sleeps as a great adventure. However, both my wife and I grew up in Tripoli, Iowa. Tripoli is 30 miles north of Waterloo and has a population of about 1,200. We never considered staying in New York on a long-term basis. So when we were driving from Omaha to Kearney in April for an interview here, we immediately felt at home. My wife even said, "The sky is bigger and bluer here!" and it is. I tell this story because I want everyone to know that we are thrilled to be making our new home in this community with good people that already feel like neighbors to us.
Now it's time to get to work. This week, Leadership Council, department directors, physicians and some other staff members are taking part in service line strategy sessions. For each major service line, we're sitting down to look at where we've been to determine where we're going. These meetings are a great crash course in Good Samaritan Hospital for me. I'm learning much! What's clear is that we have services to provide here at GSH that 350,000 people would otherwise have to travel a great distance to receive. That's a tremendous responsibility that I take very seriously—and I hope you do too. We need to work together to figure out how best to care for those people who arrive at our doorstep. Remember that every time one of those persons arrives at our hospital, it is our opportunity to be the Good Samaritan!
Check back in the next few days for my next entry, and thanks for reading!