Among the earliest evidence of the industriousness of humankind are large rocks that were shaped so they could be easily secured at the end of a rope and used as anchors on rafts and boats. And it seems likely that the first anchors were probably made by the same people who crafted the first boats. After all, how are you going to keep your vessel from floating away without something to keep it secure?
The name we gave this object that held a boat firmly in place soon became a verb signifying the function of holding something securely—to anchor or anchoring. And now we use it to describe a person who anchors a newscast, or an institution that helps anchor a community in place, or even a philosophy or set of ideas that helps anchor the values and culture of society.
This last Monday was “Physicians Day,” a day to celebrate the lives and service of physicians and advanced practice providers—individuals who are anchors (both nouns and verbs!) for us. Their impact is apparent throughout our organization—especially within the care teams that are on the forefront of our work. They help anchor the ways in which we serve, and they provide the grounded stability that is needed in order for our organization to fulfill our mission.
Long before any of us knew the term COVID-19, our medical staff was embodying our calling and values. The mission of AHC is secured by their commitment, competence, character, and—may I say it—courage.
Over the past few weeks, I have seen our clinicians bravely confront each new challenge—our physicians and advanced practice providers are anchors of compassionate care as they put the needs of our patients and our communities ahead of their own.
I have been inspired by the perseverance and strength that enables them to respond to each new situation with grace and ingenuity. I have marveled at their energy, their unswerving commitment to excellent care for our patients, and the kindness and humanity that they bring to their work.
Words are not adequate to express our gratitude, but perhaps there is one word that comes close to describing how we regard them: Anchors—of our values, our mission, our work, and our organization. Thank you!