Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” If her theory is correct, then the High Country community is among the greatest.
Like the rest of America’s healthcare systems, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges and unimaginable scenarios for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). While ARHS healthcare professionals worked the front line, local businesses, organizations and individuals immediately stepped up to help.
They donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as N-95 masks, face shields, hand-sewn face coverings, hand sanitizer, and protective suits. They dropped off food, treats and special meals for employees. They offered special discounts or perks to ARHS employees, such as free soft drinks at their establishments. The Watauga and Avery County first responders and emergency personnel even paraded by Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital in a show of solidarity and support.
The healthcare team at ARHS has always stood ready to take care of the community. But it was profoundly touching when the community repeatedly came forward to help take care of them. For that support, the more than 1400 ARHS employees are forever grateful. It serves as a reminder that everyone is in this together, and ARHS is fortunate to be part of a community that feels that – and acts upon it.
The Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation and Employee Assistance Program worked with the following generous businesses, organizations and individuals who have shown support through donations of supplies and food. Everyone at ARHS would like to say a hearty “THANK YOU.”
App State Athletics, ASU Beaver College of Health Sciences – Nursing Department, ASU Chemistry Department, Art of Oil, Avery High School, Chris Barley, BB&T, Blue Ridge Energies, Bistro Roca, Boone Drug, Boone Girl Scout Troop 13115, Boone Paint, Bridgeman Dentistry, Call Family Distillers, Chick-fil-A, Clean Eatz, College Foundation of North Carolina, Cranberry Middle School, Creative Printing and Internet Services, Daniel Boone Inn, Frontier Natural Gas, Ashley Hampton, Adam Hill, DDS, Hope Pregnancy Center, Hospitality Mints, IND-Concepts, Insomnia Cookies, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Mast General Store, Mayland Community College, Edna McKinney, Mark Muhaw, Moltox, NC Department of Transportation, Precision Printing, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty – Banner Elk, Promo Savvy, Publix, Ransom Pub, Kelly Rucker, Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, Valerie Rush and Team, Samaritan’s Purse, Nicole Scheffler, DDS, Sherwin Williams, Spangler Restoration, Wal-Mart, Wilkes Community College, countless individuals who made and donated masks, and businesses who offered us special discounts or free drinks.
The pandemic is not over yet. But one thing is certain: the High Country community will continue to come together as one in times of trial.