Because Together, We Do Achieve More:
Hardships can be presented in many forms in our society. Hardships force us to adapt to the situation by pushing yourself and overcoming the adversity presented. And overcoming these obstacles builds character. The most difficult hardships make people step out of their comfort zones and innovate new ideas. When a dramatic shift in the environment happens, you aren’t changing because you want to, but because it’s necessary for your survival. Now, I am not saying that those of us at the health department faced a lot of “hardships” this year but we did face some adversity and we had to learn to adapt and change, whether intentional or unintentional. First, we geared ourselves up for a major renovation to the health department just to be weeks away from the first hammer being swung and then realizing that hammer literally would not swing. Frustrating, absolutely, however, we now realize a better opportunity was waiting for us. The renovations are back in the works and we will hopefully be able to start gutting the downstairs of our building early winter. Second, and probably the most difficult part of this year was saying “goodbye” to our health educator, Sarah Linthacum. I always told her she was the “face” of the health department. She helped establish and grow so many services during her time here. We truly miss her smiling face each day! Because of Sarah leaving her position, I asked the other health department staff to step out of their comfort zones and absorb the duties of the health educator position. They have done this in a remarkable fashion and I am proud of how each has gone above and beyond to help out! Together, Everyone Achieves More!
Public Health daily takes on adversity and it must always change and adapt. Whether it’s the public health nurse tracking the latest communicable disease reports or staff attending the latest emergency preparedness training, we are ALWAYS preparing for some type of change and we must ALWAYS be willing to adapt! Public health is never stagnant. And we vow to always do our best to prevent, promote and protect the citizens of this county.
Another important part of our health department is our hospice. It amazes me daily how much each hospice staff gives of themselves to better the end of life experience for their patients. Yes, death is hard. Nobody wants to die. But we are humbled when we are invited into your lives to share in a very private moment with each of our patients. End of life care is not glamorous. The staff works long hours to keep the patients and their families comfortable and to help them understand what they are about to experience. They share in the memories you are creating with your loved ones, so yes, it is difficult for our staff to also say goodbye at the end of life for our patients. Again, I am honored to work along such professional, caring co-workers. I ask that everyone takes time to read or ask us about our hospice services – our staff definitely provide quality care close to home!
In closing, I wish for everyone to remember to be kind to each other. This past year’s presidential campaign was a doozy. It brought out the worst in so many people. So as we close our eyes each night, please feel blessed as we still live in the land of the free, home of the brave. I am proud and honored to be a citizen of this country and I hope you are too. Here’s to an amazing 2017.
Courtney Cross, Administrator
Harrison County Health Department & Hospice