A new day of hope

Published 12:10 am Friday, September 2, 2011

Most Beaufort County residents were sound asleep as the clock struck midnight Thursday. Harvey Case was not one of them.

In his first official action as president of University Health Systems-Beaufort Hospital, Case was making the rounds delivering doughnuts and coffee to hospital employees on the night shift. He was there at lunch, too, talking with the staff about the new day at the hospital.

Banners hanging around the hospital said it all: “Welcome to the UHS family. Our family. Caring for yours.”

“Their mission is family driven,” Pam Shadle, director of marketing and public relations, said. “It is all about family and we’re a member of the family now.”

It has been 416 days since the Beaufort Regional Health System Board of Commissioners began searching for a suitor to take over management of the beleaguered health care facility.

In the end, Case was at Beaufort Hospital at midnight because that’s what citizens of Beaufort County wanted. When local officials attempted to snub the will of the people, concerned residents fought back, raising their collective voices for a common cause: quality health care in Beaufort County.

“It’s a wonderful example of democracy at work,” said Derik Davis, a member of Concerned Citizens of Beaufort County and a vocal advocate for University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina. “This is a prime example of the voice of the people being strong and united and it makes a difference.”

“As we begin to put our lives back together after the storm, we know that our health care is secured.”

Thursday’s dawn brought a renewed hope for the people of Beaufort County that we will receive the best possible health care from UHS. We expect nothing less.