A Thanksgiving Message

Posted on November 23, 2021

Full Circle: A Blog by Jim VanderSteeg, President and CEOAs we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I would like to share some thoughts from my personal “gratitude list” with you.

At the top of the list, I am thankful for family – for my wife, Erin, for my two children, for our parents and for our extended family members. Especially during the past two years, they have continued to be a great source of love, support and inspiration for me.   

I am profoundly thankful for each member of the Covenant Health family. I often think about what makes our organization so special, and one thing comes to mind: our people. When a group of dedicated individuals comes together around the purpose of putting patients first, amazing things happen.

We have essentially experienced a 20-month crisis during the past couple of years, and we are still facing the challenges of COVID-19 every day. We are extremely blessed that our employees have stepped up to meet these challenges, even when doing so involved personal risk and sacrifice. When faced with the most formidable obstacles, our employees continue to put our patients first because they care about our organization and, more importantly, about the people we serve.

I want to thank all of our employees, who know better than anyone that the needs of our patients and communities have been especially significant throughout the pandemic. Day in and day out, they give their very best. For those caregivers who choose to take care of others during times of crisis, I have special words of thanks for their dedication and incredible courage – they deserve our deepest appreciation and gratitude every day of the year.

I am thankful for our COVID vaccines and for all that we have accomplished in vaccinating our communities. We administered more than 60,000 COVID-19 vaccinations at over 250 vaccine clinics in the health system’s 23-county service area.

I am thankful for the exciting opportunities we have underway to continually elevate the quality and accessibility of healthcare in our communities. Despite the pandemic, we have accelerated strategic plans and are moving forward with projects such as a new behavioral hospital, a new rehabilitation hospital, and new outpatient centers on the horizon.

I am thankful for our board members who care so much about the employees and health system, and for their valuable input and support of our strategic plans. Their profound dedication to Covenant Health’s mission allows us to truly make a difference in our communities.

I am thankful for the businesses, civic organizations and individuals throughout our region who share our commitment to improving the quality of life in our region, and for generous donors who contribute financially to our hospitals and programs.  

Most of all, I am most thankful for the patients and families we serve – more than two million come to us for care each year. Every day we renew our pledge to put our patients first and strive for excellence in everything we do. We are privileged to be your trusted healthcare partner.

My best wishes to each of you for a happy Thanksgiving and all the blessings of the holiday season.