Defined by heart

Published 3:35 pm Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dear editor:
Christmas is such a wonderful time. Family gatherings, beautiful decorations, brightly lit Christmas trees, gifts and carols all make this holiday a truly special time of year. It is fitting that we honor the amazing gift we all received more than 2,000 years ago, the birth of Jesus in such a special way.  Christmas is naturally a time to reflect on and give thanks for all the blessings we truly enjoy. On my list there are two that I would like to share with you.
The first is our country. With the continuing tough economic times and following an election barrage of negative ads, it might is easy for some to be discouraged. Yet, even with all the problems we have, the United States of America remains the greatest county on the planet, and we are exceedingly blessed to live here. I thank those in the armed forces who work everyday to maintain our freedom, and for those abroad, a safe and speedy return home.
Second, we are exceedingly blessed to live in this community. To be sure, like much of the rest of Michigan, we continue to feel the impact of the economic challenges. This Christmas our community might still feel these effects economically, but it is not the economy that defines Dowagiac or the other communities in Cass County.  Our community is defined by peoples’ hearts. What makes Dowagiac a great place to call home are the many people who care so deeply and give so generously of their time, talents and help in numerous ways.  And for this I am truly thankful.
This thought leads me to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital.  Like our community, our hospital is defined by spirit. As a member of Ascension Health, Borgess-Lee is a faith-based hospital. This means it is not just a health care organization; it is a ministry. As such, we have a set of values that define and shape how we deliver healthcare services to the people of the communities we serve. Specifically the physicians and staff are called to:
Service of the poor — generosity of spirit, especially for persons most in need
Reverence — respect and compassion for the dignity and diversity of life
Integrity — inspiring trust through personal leadership
Wisdom — integrating excellence and stewardship
Creativity — courageous innovation
Dedication — affirming the hope and joy of our ministry
These values inspire us to care very deeply about our patients, our neighbors and the people we serve. They inspire our staff to give generously of their time, talents and skill. They inspire us to strive to offer the highest quality health care services, and to insure these services are easily and equally available to everyone regardless of race, religious belief or even the ability to pay. They inspire us to be actively involved in the community we love.
These values also serve to help us recognize how very blessed we are to celebrate Christmas in a country called America, in a county called Cass and in a city called Dowagiac. On behalf of the almost 250 physicians and staff of Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital I want to thank you and wish you a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.
Joy A. Strand
COO & Administrator,
Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital