By Daniel Brunty
The Winston County Journal
“One good turn deserves another.”
This was the sentiment of everyone present when the Winston Medical Center was visited by representatives of Norman Regional Health Systems (Moore Medical Center) from Moore, Oklahoma.
Moore Medical Center was devastated by one of the most powerful tornadoes in American history. The administration and staff of Moore Medical were blessed to receive help that allowed them to recover from the horrific events.
Having gone through a similar situation, the Winston Medical Center is in the process of recovering from the April 28 storms and tornadoes, with their new temporary location at 923 South Church Avenue in Louisville (in the parking lot behind the Teeters building.)
To welcome the representatives of Moore Medical, WMC held a special ceremony at the temporary hospital this past Wednesday, June 18, at 3 p.m. Employees and staff of the hospital were on hand, as well as city and county officials. WMC Interim CEO Paul Black began the welcome with opening words, followed by introducing Norman Regions Health Systems CEO David Whitaker and Board Member Jim Wade.
Black he gave a brief history and background on how the event came to be, stating that after the tornadoes on April 28, he received a call that following Thursday from Whitaker, who introduced himself to Black. Whitaker went on to tell Black their situation of facing a tornado on May 20, 2013. Whitaker informed Black at the time that their organization would like to make the WMC their “Pay It Forward” project, meaning they would help the WMC in any way they could.
“Needless to say I was a little emotional on my part, and it still is,” Black said. After a heartfelt moment, Black introduced Whitaker, who received a loud applause.
Whitaker began by telling everyone that they know that they are going through hard times, and told them they could move together as a community. Whitaker stated that he has been through two major tornadoes, and he knows that everyone that went through this will remember each and every minute of it.
“We may all be different, in what we do and where we work, but the thing about healthcare workers is always the same,” Whitaker said. “We always stand ready to help our community at the time of greatest need.”
Whitaker went on to state he was excited about the prospect of helping and hopes to see WMC do great things in the future. He also stated when he heard about the events in Winston County, it said to him it was time to “payback” all the goodwill they received. “”It is time for us to do to others what was done to us in a good way,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker then presented a check to Black for $48,000 to the WMC from Regional Health Systems to assist in their recovery. After the presentation, Black asked all the employees and staff of WMC to come to the front to take pictures with the check. Refreshments and snacks were offered after.