Sunrises marked the beginning of my career with Smith County Memorial Hospital as I walked across the parking lot to start each day. I walked past our monuments honoring the fallen local heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms so we can today live the American Dream.
We memorialize our heroes because their values are fundamental to who we are as a staff collectively committed to serving the health needs of our local and surrounding rural communities. We also participate in a parade in honor of the settlers who built Smith Center. When I started my job, I was asked to help organize a float for the Old Settlers’ Day parade. I was brand new to the hospital and had never planned a parade float.
I didn’t own a trailer, didn’t know anyone, didn’t even know my way around the hospital yet. It had the potential for embarrassment. That’s when Jessica Schmidt, one of our certified nursing assistants, offered to help. She showed up with a truck, a trailer, and a heart to serve. She cheerfully volunteered and came with that special benefit of great work cultures we all seek: friendship.
It was Jessica who made my first parade fun. I tease her that we’re now the parade committee, but the lessons I learned from that beginning at SCMH are very real to me. We honor veterans, founders, and heroes because they together made and protected the American Dream of a good job, a nice home, friendly neighbors, warm places to worship, quality schools, and a safe community to raise kids.
It took farmers and veterans and builders and preachers and teachers. It took nurses and doctors and first responders. Together they built a beautiful community where we wave at each other on the highway. We are now called to protect and grow our community together.
My ultimate takeaway from my first days here is that I am blessed to work alongside people who show up each day with hearts on fire to improve the whole health of the whole of our community. Smith County Memorial Hospital is a great place to work. It’s a place to make an impact and to thrive. It’s a place of teamwork and friendship. It’s a place founded on traditional values but actively progressive in striving to constantly improve its standards of patient and staff care.
It’s a place that proves the American Dream is alive and well in North Central Kansas.
We hope you enjoy our new issue of HealthBeat magazine. This issue reports on our 2022 local impact and features several profiles. A digital version of the magazine is available HERE. Thank you for reading and for the opportunity to serve our community and the surrounding area.
Thank you, Shannon Rogers, Director of Communications, Marketing and Development