The holiday season is a time we often choose to reflect on the past year, plan our upcoming New Year and gather to celebrate the communities we are part of – family, friends, work associates, the town we live in and more. We celebrate community in part because we know that strength of a group of people brought together ‘in community’ is greater than the sum of the strength of the participating individuals.

In Leadville, nowhere is the strength of acting in community better illustrated than it is within our healthcare community. Not long ago, our hospital was on the verge of becoming an empty building.

At that time, I was one who believed Leadville didn’t really need its own hospital any longer. My opinion was that we are surrounded by some of the finest medical facilities in the country, none of them so far away that we didn’t need anything more than acute and emergency care in our little town. Oddly enough, it was during that time I was asked if I would have any interest in filling a vacancy on the SVGHD Board of Directors. I knew that if I was being asked to serve, there probably weren’t many others willing to do the same. So I offered some of my limited time, and even more limited knowledge, to the SVGHD Board.

I thought I would be joining a hospital district and volunteer board struggling with the seemingly insurmountable issues facing all rural hospitals. Instead, I found a small group of dedicated volunteers supporting a few true professionals that had taken on a seemingly lost cause (remember the new hospital that didn’t get built?). Together, while bringing SVH back from the brink, they had also resurrected the possibility of a modern facility and improved health care opportunities in our now-growing town. SVGHD is building that new hospital, and we will all benefit. We will have access to a modern facility staffed by excellent providers less than 10 minutes from home. But with the concrete for the new hospital still curing, for me the greatest benefit has already come. The greatest benefit has come through service to the greater good, and giving back to a community that has given so much. It is my honor and privilege. In this season of giving, please consider giving some of your time and knowledge (however limited!) to serving the greater good by offering your service to our SVGHD Board and community. Thank you!

Craig Stuller

SVGHD Board Member at-large

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