Vision and Devotion. Those two words speak volumes. No organization can stand the test of time and continuous change without a solid vision and unyielding devotion to it. So it has been with Newton Medical Center since 1987 and its predecessors, Axtell Christian Hospital and Bethel Deaconess Hospital since 1887 and 1908 respectively.

Just outside the doors of my office stands a triangle of sorts. The Heritage Courtyard is a statuary garden with commemorative brick pavers. It pays homage to the original hospitals and founders. Opposite that, a wall display lists visionaries who brought the two hospitals together into the Newton Medical Center we know today. The Chapel with its magnificent stained glass windows brought here from the former hospitals completes the third triangle point. An extra and important fourth point is the Founder’s Wall in our front lobby. It lists community members who unselfishly gave of personal resources to build the current hospital.

All who work and receive care at NMC do so because of an inheritance of vision and devotion. Our predecessors handed us an excellent hospital. We have accepted this gift with an implicit understanding that our own devoted service is now required to constantly strengthen its mission. In this way we stand on the shoulders of those who blazed our current path.

In February I wrote to you about our devoted employees. Today I want to mention two other groups that have had an enduring impact upon NMC’s ability to stand strong today.

First, a hospital requires a Board of Directors. NMC’s 19-member Board sets the vision and mission and its high expectations for quality performance. They govern all business aspects of the hospital. Our board devotes significant time and specific talents to NMC through their committee service and attendance at regular board meetings, planning sessions and education events. This hard work has earned NMC’s board a fine reputation among Kansas hospital boards. Recently the Kansas Hospital Association formally helped us recognize fifteen of our members for exemplary service. It was recognition well-earned.

Second, a hospital requires a formally-organized Medical Staff. NMC’s medical staff is also steeped in a long tradition of excellence and devotion. Our doctors are amazing. They provide for the healthcare of approximately 65,000 people who live around this area. And they do it around-the-clock. No matter what the medical condition is, there are doctors in this community who can treat you – and if they can’t, they have established a reliable network of physicians who can. Doctors of multiple specialties work here including Cardiology, Emergency, Endocrinology, Family Practice, General Surgery, Hospitalist, Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, and Urology to name only a few.

Our physicians also support our partner agencies such as the Kansas Medical Society, American Hospital Association, Newton Fire/EMS, County Coroner, and school and youth athletics. Many of our doctors serve as KU School of Medicine faculty. Most of this type of work is voluntary service.

Several of our retired physicians still actively participate on medical staff committees. Their insights and wisdom help our practicing physicians unravel difficult questions. It is a privilege to see multi-generations work together to solve complex problems on behalf of our patients.

March 30 is Doctor’s Day. One way the hospital will honor our physicians is by sharing some of their inspirational stories using our social media and website. I invite you to participate by viewing these stories and by taking a minute to write a short thank you note to your own doctor. You might not think your doctor would like to receive a thank you note from you – but you would be mistaken.

NMC is fortunate to have been aided by remarkable physician and board leaders throughout its history. Like their predecessors, the current Board and Medical Staff are model community leaders who are truly devoted to the hospital’s mission and the patients we serve. We are grateful.

— Vallerie Gleason is the President and CEO of Newton Medical Center.