A New Year’s Eve Reflection

I shared the following New Year’s Eve reflection with the entire St. Joe’s Team earlier today. This year has been so full of challenges for everyone. With that in mind, I wanted to share it with all of you, as well.

As I looked forward to 2020 a year ago, I never imagined we’d be faced with a pandemic that would lead to so many sacrifices and challenges. I could easily bid good riddance to 2020 (and I think we’re all ready for the fresh start a new year brings), but the truth is I find myself more grateful than ever. I’m so very grateful for all of you. The clinicians, nurses and staff, who for nine months have donned extra PPE, adapt to rapidly changing policies. I’m grateful for our collective ability to adapt to Zoom meetings, long hours and in some cases balancing work and home under one roof. I’m grateful to all of you who have had to become teachers and IT experts while juggling the increased work demands. Over the last week, I’ve mentioned that the vaccine is a light of hope at the end of the tunnel, but the truth is that each of you have kept that light of hope alive throughout these last 10 months, and I’m so grateful for that.

During a time when our communities were reeling from the effects of a pandemic, you reminded people of the importance masks, social distancing and our responsibility to ourselves and our neighbors. Messages that while always important haven’t always been well-received. As we faced challenge after challenge, you rose to the occasion, offering creative solutions, working harder and longer hours under more challenging conditions. Thank you for being there for our patients, each other and our community.

As 2020 comes to a close, I’d like to express not only my gratitude for each of you, but my optimism for the future. Last week, we received our first doses of the COVID vaccine, and before the end of this week hundreds of our team members will be vaccinated. The speed at which this vaccine was developed and the reported efficacy is worthy of celebration, and each and every time I see a new photo of one of your faces post-vaccine I do celebrate.

Each year I make resolutions of health – to exercise more and lose weight. I’ll make those same resolutions for 2021, as well. However, I want to also use this time of renewal to appreciate that my body has gotten me through so very much – including this pandemic! I also pause to remember all of the people impacted by the many challenges experienced in 2020. I reflect on the fact that the pandemic offered opportunities – the opportunity to spend more time at home with family and constant reminders to appreciate each day. I resolve to remember in 2021 how the St. Joe’s team came together with innovation and resilience to face the biggest challenge of our lives. As we look toward the bright spots ahead, I know that it is that resolve that will get us through the next six months and the recovery thereafter.

As I shared this reflection with our staff I offered these thanks: Thank you for your unwavering commitment to serve our community with excellence and compassion.

I’d now like to extend those thanks to the members of our community, as well. You have also made sacrifices – big and small. I’m so grateful for the support you’ve shown us throughout this challenging year. I know we are all COVID tired, please continue to practice social distancing, masking, hand hygiene and stay home if you’re sick. There is a bright light at the end of this winding tunnel. If we can make it through a year like 2020, imagine the amazing possibilities that lie ahead.

All my best,

Mary Prybylo, RN, MSN, FACHE
Covenant Sr. Vice President
President, St. Joseph Healthcare