The Gift of a Community that Cares

With the holiday season upon us, I’ve been thinking about gifts, but not the kind of gifts you buy online or your favorite local small businesses. The gifts I’m thinking about are those many don’t give a second thought to on most days, specifically, the gift of local healthcare.

I often wonder if Forks Community Hospital (FCH) is on your mind throughout the year. Unless you’ve had an experience at one of our facilities in 2023, I’m curious as to whether the work we do here crosses the minds of the communities we stand ready to serve, 365/24/7. If not, that’s okay. You’re not alone because that’s the gift of having a community hospital like ours. Whether you think about it or not, we’re here, saving lives and caring with compassion whenever you need us. So long as we can continue overcoming the challenges inherent in the healthcare industry, you can rest easier knowing that quality, person-centered healthcare is near.

Whether you’ve been a patient at one of our health clinics, our rehabilitation department or lab, had an x-ray or mammogram, visited the ER, arrived by ambulance, or spent time with a loved one in long-term care, in all cases, we hope that your experience with us was a positive one and left you feeling confident in the care and service we provide day in and out.

On the subject of gifts. I thought about how often we here at FCH think about those in our amazing community who are also in the people-helping business. From our sheriff’s office and police department to our school leaders and teachers, from our faith-based organizations to those who are providing essential assistance for food, housing, childcare, homecare, and services for our treasured veterans and valued tribal communities, our work intersects with theirs in many ways. Earlier this year, FCH convened a meeting with many of these community stakeholders (Champions for a Healthier West End) to share information about FCH, explore and discuss the barriers many in our community face concerning accessing the services that influence health and health outcomes. For all of them, we are thankful.

These first meetings also aimed to explore possibilities and coordinate programs to help close the gaps and address social drivers of health, such as food, housing, and transportation security. The time we spent together, and the work needed to achieve a Healthier West End is also a gift. We may be a small community, but you can be assured that the ideas to help are as big as the hearts it took to have these courageous conversations.

A few more gifts to be thankful for is that FCH has a community that cares and understands how vital the hospital is to the West End’s vitality. We’re grateful that ours is an organization governed by community members. We’re thankful for our dedicated board members, and we’re looking forward to welcoming two new Commissioners to the table, Amy Kitchel Ruble and Chuck Carlson.

I’ll conclude by asking for the gift of your feedback. If FCH is essential to you and your family, if you have a story you’d like to share, if you’d like to volunteer, support our Foundation, or join conversations about how we can achieve a Healthier West End together, reach out to me!

From all of us at FCH, we wish you a very happy holiday season and a healthy new year.

With gratitude,

Heidi Anderson MBA BSN RN

Chief Executive Officer