Believe it or not, it was sunshine and 80 degrees on March 19th 2012, the day I started in my role as CFO of Parkland. Although five years have passed, it feels like yesterday. Over these five years, I have had the chance to witness a strengthening embrace between the community and Parkland. The sense of community among area businesses, charitable organizations, community members, and the hospital has provided for improvements that were likely impossible just years ago. As we look at the approach to public health in Southern New Hampshire, we witness collaborations that are unparalleled in the state. Only in our public health network do you have four independent organizations working toward improving public health-related services; Greater Derry Community Health Services, Center for Life Management, Community Alliance for Teen Safety, and Parkland Medical Center. Such a collaboration requires recognition of strength in others and a common set of core values. You see it in the selfless thank you to a teacher by a graduate of The Upper Room Hi-Set during their graduation speech, the outpouring of community support for Derry Fire and EMS during town hearings, the ribbon cutting at the Sonshine Soup Kitchen, and in the generosity that takes place at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Derry annual auction. All signs point to a community that is strengthening its relationships in an effort to provide for one another.
So many individuals have answered the call to serve their community, in fact, too many to list individually. I want to take a minute to share with you the value that I have found in this stewardship. Nearly five years ago to the day, I met with the executive director at The Upper Room about joining the board. Just a few months into what I thought was me giving back to the community, I found that the gift I received was family. It became even more evident when I encountered a board member at church and to my surprise was met with a huge hug and an insistence on joining them for the remainder of the service.
At the board meetings we discussed everything from community needs, to success stories of those that visited the Upper Room, to the needs of the staff. I found myself craving opportunities to share my experience with the organization to others. In turn, I gained a sense of belonging, a source of energy, and a connection into this beautiful community. I encourage you to find your opportunity to share your gifts with this community. Whether it is through your church, the Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, Relay for Life, Rotary, Sonshine Soup Kitchen, or any of the numerous organizations that serve as the building blocks of our community, the value of the gift you receive will no doubt outweigh the value of the gift you give.
Many Parkland employees have answered the call and contribute countless dollars, hours and energy to numerous organizations around the community. For every story that has been shared, there are no doubt acts of generosity that remain anonymous.
At the start of this post I spoke of the “strengthening embrace” between the community and Parkland. While it is uncertain what started this momentum, I can only say that it swept me up and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it. If you have any questions about Parkland’s role in the community or becoming involved with a community initiative, please feel free to contact me directly at Jacob.Wiesmann@hcahealthcare.com.