It’s hard for me to believe that I’ll soon be leaving Sarasota Memorial to return to Michigan. In these final weeks, I’ve been reflecting on the past amazing nine years.
Health care has undergone an enormous transformation over the last decade, and it’s because of your great work, support and dedication that we’ve been able to navigate the many changes successfully. We have accomplished so much together: The opening of new outpatient centers, the North Port Emergency Room and several Urgent Care Clinics, the move into our Courtyard Tower, several outstanding Joint Commission surveys, Magnet re-designation and other prestigious honors, enhancements in quality and the patient experience, pioneering advances in medical technology and treatments, bond rating upgrades – the list goes on and on. Countless hours of planning and hard work went into all of these efforts, and the results wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of our incredible team – staff members, physicians, volunteers and community and business partners.
Throughout all of the changes, I think we can be proud that we have not strayed from our mission as a public hospital and provider of essential medical care that’s critical to the health and wellness of our community.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone how fortunate we are to have an elected hospital board to provide oversight and guidance. Most hospital boards are appointed, but the members of the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board are elected by voters and directly accountable to the community they serve. They devote hundreds of hours without pay, and you won’t find a more dedicated, experienced group of leaders anywhere. Personally, they have given me invaluable support, expertise and direction over the years.
I’m also grateful to the hospital’s entire leadership team for their tireless efforts and the wonderful example they set for the rest of the organization. As I pass the baton on to the extremely capable hands of interim CEO David Verinder, I leave knowing Sarasota Memorial will continue to flourish.
I’d also like to express my gratitude to our outstanding Medical Staff, an exceptionally talented group dedicated to providing top-quality care. Many thanks go as well to our volunteers, who selflessly contribute so much to the health system. Our successes also have depended on our remarkable community leaders and elected officials who have demonstrated time and again their commitment to excellent health care. Indeed, our entire community has shown extraordinary support for Sarasota Memorial and we take our responsibility to those we serve very seriously. There are many challenges ahead, and the loyalty of our patients and community will be key to our continued success and won’t be taken for granted.
It’s been an absolute pleasure and privilege to be a part of this outstanding organization and wonderful community. I look forward to hearing about your future accomplishments and hope you will stay in touch when I start my new role with Ascension Health in Michigan. You will never be far from my heart or thoughts.
Again, thank you.
•• Say goodbye to Gwen at a reception from 3:30 to 5 p.m., today (Wednesday, May 14) in the Surgery reception area, located on the first floor of the Courtyard Tower between the lobby and Emergency Care Center. All are invited to stop by for refreshments and to wish Gwen well! **