As we approach the Thanksgiving Season I thought I’d reflect on those things I’m most thankful for.

The easy starting place is my family.  I’m thankful that I have a beautiful and understanding wife and two healthy children.  This is the first Thanksgiving that I’ve had the opportunity to be thankful for two children.  Our youngest is almost 4 months old and we’re still adjusting to life.  Two children are more difficult and time-consuming than one but two children are also double the joy of one.

I’m also thankful for my family that extends beyond the four walls of my own home.  Families are difficult and at times petty but the truth is, they’re the only family each of us has and therefore, they’re ours.  My mother passed away almost 6 years ago and the holidays haven’t been the same since.  It’s not that the holidays mean less, they may actually mean more and that’s because you never know which holiday could be the last with your family.  If you knew that this was going to be your last Thanksgiving who would you spend it with.  My guess is most of you responded “family”.  I’d challenge each of you approach each holiday as if it were your last, in doing so you’ll appreciate the people you’re with much more than the presents or meal and those petty differences between family members will be just that, petty.

I’m thankful to live in a community that cares.  Our community has its share of problems but we don’t ignore our problems, we face them and look for solutions.  Our community is generous.  If you need evidence of just how generous look around.  Things like Operation Christmas Cheer, the square lighting ceremony, the support of the hospital foundation at the recent gala are just a few examples.  Our community is also looking for ways to improve and create opportunity.  It’s public knowledge that the Clearfield Plant is closing.  It’s a tough deal for our community but a wise and understood business decision by Schreiber Foods.  Although we hate it, we understand and we are committed as a community to supporting the staff at Clearfield with the transition and securing our relationship with the remaining Schreiber assets in town.  We are also focused on creating more job and business opportunity in our community by creating a new comprehensive plan that will help us retain and attract business.  Communities who invest in themselves care and Clinton cares.

I’m thankful to work for an organization that is committed to doing the right things.  All staff of GVMH have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the source of their paycheck.  The health care industry is in flux and hospitals are either profitable or not, there’s not much middle ground.  GVMH is financially secure and is committed to doing the right things for its staff.  We have great benefits, an excellent work environment and we allow health care professionals to put the patient ahead of profits.  Our staff satisfaction is at the 87th percentile, we recently won the Missouri Quality Award, we are evaluating how to expand our physical facility to meet the growing health care needs of our community and most importantly we treat every person who comes through our door with dignity and respect.

I’m thankful to work beside caring, compassionate and talented individuals.  I’m amazed on a daily basis at the caliber of people who work at GVMH.  The services we provide are only as good as the people who provide them and that’s why our services are second to none.

I’m thankful to live in a country where I’m free to complain about the things I don’t like and support the things I believe in including my religious and personal beliefs. 

I’m thankful for the relationships I have with friends and co-workers.  I’m thankful to have friends who are like family.  I’m thankful to have co-workers who are friends.

There’s nothing easy about health care but the truth is there’s nothing easy about any of the things we have to be thankful for and maybe that’s the takeaway for this Thanksgiving. 

Those things that are the most difficult may just be the things we should be the most thankful for.

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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