From the Executive Director: A year of gratitude
By: By Heather Wilson, MSW, CFRE, CAE
If you peek on social media, watch television or listen to the radio, you constantly hear expressions about a do-over for 2020.
The sense of endlessness and despair is ever-present in our daily lives; however, I have chosen to look at 2020 as a year of refining what is most precious and dear.
My head is not in the sand. I personally felt the deaths. My uncle, a Vietnam veteran, was an early casualty of COVID-19. My senior neighbor lost his wife that he married in his early teens. My husband and I had the gut-wrenching “what-if” conversation to ensure that we are on the same page if our adult son with autism became critically ill with COVID-19.
I saw and heard our beloved physicians and health professionals. Their expressions of fear, frustration, exhaustion and isolation are front of mind daily. Despite it all, I choose to say, I will be grateful.
For the Foundation, 2020 was a year of clarity and growth. All Foundation programs, with minimal bumps, remained fully functional and moved to a virtual environment. I am grateful for our PHP staff who prepared to provide confidential services to our participants far in advance of COVID-19. They focused on the needs of the PHP participants and intentionally took time to focus on their own mental health as well as the needs of their colleagues. Our LifeGuard Program quickly adapted to CDC guidelines to protect our physicians needing assessments.
Like a diamond, the Foundation refined itself under pressure in 2020. Our work continues to be affirmed by the strong support of our donors. We especially want to thank PAMED Past President Lawrence John, MD for providing a $10,000 challenge gift that yielded more than $30,000 in support. His leadership combined with the steadfast commitment of our Board Chair Dr. Virginia Hall made all the difference.
A mentor once taught me that no matter what is happening around you, when you wake up, you put your feet on the floor and you say, “thank you.” To you – our participants, clients, student recipients, donors, staff, trustees, colleagues and friends – I say, “thank you.”
Best wishes to you and yours for health, peace and prosperity in 2021.