Letter: A thank you to the community

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Every new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start, a new beginning. We have begun 2021 with hope and optimism for good health and a return to life as we knew it before COVID-19, as shown by our Lights of Hope which were on display through Jan. 7.

As health care workers, we see firsthand the pain caused by the pandemic. We hold the hands of patients when they were alone, and we witness the remarkable recovery of others. 2020 was one of the most difficult, yet one of the most rewarding years for us at MercyOne. Providing compassionate care is our life’s work — our calling — and we are motivated by an unwavering commitment to the health of those we serve. We recognize the tremendous responsibility and honor that comes with caring for another’s life.

Last year, as we provided care for others, many in our community cared for us. In large and small ways, we felt your love and appreciation. From thank you cards to donated food, social media mentions and hand-lettered signs of recognition, you have shown us gratitude. Even as businesses and community members faced uncertainty in their own lives — people came together to thank us. We are humbled and grateful for your kindness, support and spirit of giving.

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While there is optimism for the year ahead, there is much work to be done. We have begun vaccinations for our health care workers, but we will still be fighting COVID-19 for some time, which underscores the importance of continued safety measures like wearing masks and social distancing. We do not know what additional challenges await us in this new year. What we do know is we are not the same people, organization or community we were 12 months ago. We have been changed.

Our hope is the spirit of appreciation and generosity we saw in 2020 continues into the new year in deeper and more personal ways. We have proven we can accomplish much together. And, as we pray for 2021 to be a year of healing, we are thankful for the communities we serve.

Rod Schlader


MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center