The following column was submitted to area newspapers by FirstHealth CEO Mickey Foster.
What does a hero look like? I’ve thought quite a bit about that in recent days as the spread of the coronavirus has changed everything about our lives. We need heroes now more than ever, and it’s clear that I’m surrounded by them at FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
You might say that as CEO, I’m a little biased. That’s fair. But I also have a unique window to see just how heroic our health care professionals are each day. They sacrifice for their families and of themselves, all with one goal in mind: To Care for People.
And the best part? The coronavirus didn’t suddenly bring about this mindset. It’s only reinforced it.
It has put a special spotlight on those who dedicate their lives to taking care of their communities, and it has galvanized our entire organization. FirstHealth has focused on providing high-quality care from the very beginning, and we are focused on it today.
Our infectious disease doctors have been preparing for the spread of the coronavirus for months, helping educate people throughout the organization about what they might expect and how the virus would change everything about life – and the care we provide.
Our nurses, physicians and other clinicians, the people our community has come to know and trust, are doing what they have always done. They are putting patients first, ensuring that the people know they will receive excellent care when they walk through the doors of a FirstHealth facility.
Our facilities, environmental services and food and nutrition professionals are here to serve, too. They prepare meals, clean and make sure our facilities are ready to be a beacon of hope during uncertain times.
They are all heroes, and people across the Sandhills should be reassured knowing that they are right down the street, ready to provide care whenever – and wherever – they are needed.
I’ve been heartened to hear so many stories of how our community is reaching out to support our heroes, and I know there will only be more to come in the next days and weeks.
We’ve received thousands of donated masks, many sewn at kitchen tables around the Sandhills, along with other donations of personal protective equipment from local businesses. We’ve been fed both physically and spiritually by the smiling faces who have delivered meals to our facilities.
I know I can speak for the FirstHealth family – more than 5,000 physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers – when I say thank you for all that you’re doing to help us. Thank you for observing the governor’s stay-at-home order, which will give our heroes the best chance to respond as I know they’re ready to.
As we all hunker down, doing what we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus, take comfort knowing that FirstHealth heroes are with you – now and always. I know I do.