Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our Community - Remembering Tony

Today was a very interesting day for me and quite a reflection of what community means. There were so many ways which community hit me today. Before I start, I'll let you know I checked out and it read:

–noun, plural-ties.
1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
2. a locality inhabited by such a group.
3. a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually prec. by the): the business community; the community of scholars.
4. a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe.
5. Ecclesiastical. a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.
6. Ecology. an assemblage of interacting populations occupying a given area.
7. joint possession, enjoyment, liability, etc.: community of property.
8. similar character; agreement; identity: community of interests.
9. the community, the public; society: the needs of the community.

Well, for me community hit me the following ways today (not necessarily in this order):
- As a member
- As a leader
- As a visitor
- As an observer
- As an outsider

I started out this morning in a master's swim group where approximately 10-15 people meet and challenge each other and themselves in the pool. From there, I met with a few physicians who practice with St. Joseph Medical Center to share the continued direction of our organization as well as the priorities for their practice. And then began an hour long ride to Warrensburg, MO to attend the funeral of a friend's father, Harold G. Along the way, I noticed a dog on the side of the road who was sitting next to another dog who had clearly died recently. On the way back, I stopped by a local coffee/espresso hut called Go-Go Beans and had a great conversation about espresso and healthcare reform with the owner. I must say the conversation was more engaging and interesting as we both enjoyed our espresso. Once I arrived back at my hospital, I rounded for awhile. There were a lot of people talking about tomorrow's funeral of one of our incredible associates and friend, Tony S. I have included some pictures of what was hung throughout the facility for people to sign for Tony and his family. I have also included a few 'ICUs' shown on our intranet site which acknowledge the support associates have for one another and in this case Tony.

ICUs (I Celebrate You):

Your beautiful smile will be sorely missed. It was always such a ray of sunshine to meet you in the hall as you always had a big smile and a friendly hello. You were certainly loved by your co-workers here at St. Joseph. You were a dedicated worker that really lived our Mission and Values. Bless you and your family and may you rest in peace knowing that your children will be cared for with love. We will miss you!

Tony always had a smile, or something funny to tell me everytime I would pass him in the hallways. His smile and his character will greatly be missed. My prayers go out to his family, and may Tony R.I.P.

Tony Thanks for always willingly giving your help. Thanks for your gentleness with the patients. Thanks for your compassion. Thanks for the big smile. Thanks for your hello's. Thanks for your friendliness to all. Thanks for always making this place a little bit brighter just by showing up on the unit. I will miss you a lot. It has been a great pleasure working with you.

Tony was such a wonderful person. No matter what kind of day you were having when Tony was around you couldn't help but smile. Work will never be the same without him.

I first met Tony when I myself was new to this hospital. I remember having to transport a patient from the ICU to radiology for a test. Lucky me, Tony came to help me transport my patient. I had NO idea where radiology even was! I expressed that to Tony and he said 'stick with me kid and you'll be fine.' Truer words were never spoken! From then on Tony was my 'transport buddy' and whenever he came to the ICU to help me transport a patient I had both a sigh of relief and an instant smile because of his kind heart and compassionate nature. He will be missed tremendously

Laughter, love, live, and full of life with a smile. Family, kind-hearted and gentle voice is who you are. Your light will always shine and be remembered throughout SJMC. Sadly missed, rest in peace. Your family is in my prayers.

Everyday we strive to keep our sense of community in this 'always' changing environment, at the same time rebuilding our community when it feels torn apart.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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