Fairview Park Hospital - October 24, 2016
by Don Avery, FACHE

I have often said that my favorite time of year is the fall. I love the mountains, I love cool weather, and the best time to experience both is autumn. As such, October is my favorite month. In fact, as depicted in the picture above, my favorite color is "fall!" To be around me you may think I love blue the best, and I guess in some ways that's true, but just look at the vibrant living colors displayed in any fall landscape that includes the changing leaves set against a bright blue sky with puffy, cotton-like clouds. It's hard to not choose that as your favorite color!

October is the beginning of the fourth quarter for most business and personal calendars, but for the military and government workers, it represents the beginning of the first quarter of their fiscal year. Most people know that we celebrate Columbus Day and Halloween in October, but did you know that the Jewish faith celebrates Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). And of course there are many other lesser "days" in October…

I know you might ask, "So what?" So nothing — I was just reminiscing and reflecting. October is also a good month for looking back. You see, once we cross into November, we seem to immediately start thinking about the holidays, we get busier than we need to be, and stress seems to increasingly creep into our daily lives even more so than other times of the year. I also like that in October I can reflect on how the year has gone, both personally and professionally, and look ahead to the last stretch of another year.

As I look back on 2016, as it relates to Fairview Park Hospital, I think of the new employees who have joined our family. I hope that if you fit that category, you truly do feel like you are part of a special place — a place of caring and healing, a place of encouragement, and a place of excellence. I also am thankful for those many employees who, like me, have been here for many years and remain loyal to Fairview and committed to each other.

I think of the many events and milestones that so many of our employees and their families have experienced in 2016. We have had graduations, athletic victories and losses, musical and other special events, weddings, births, exciting trips (and some not so exciting!), and countless other memorable experiences so far this year. Sadly, we have also had illnesses, injuries and even deaths in our family in 2016. While the struggles we face are just as much a part of life as the good times, they are nonetheless difficult.

The thing that makes me the proudest of you, my Fairview Park family, is your presence in the lives of your fellow employees every day — in the good times and the bad. You are there to celebrate with each other, and you are also there to comfort and care for one another. As I have said many times, regardless of what job we do each day — and they are all important — you are people first, and you are friends. Thank you for making this place more than just a place to work. Thank you for making Fairview a safe haven, a place where we can be real, a place where we best care for our patients my first caring for each other. Let's keep on keeping on as we finish 2016 well. May God bless each of you and your families.