I was talking recently about the concept of the “tribe". I grew up in a relatively large town (Sioux City), and when I moved to small towns to run hospitals - I saw the concept of 'tribe' in a different way. Dad used to say his “tribe” was their church. In our small communities - our tribe is our town. Our neighbors, our churches, our friends - are our tribes. It’s different and it’s very special.
I was talking to one of our employees recently who went through a tough patch with a family member, and she was talking about how amazing the hospital family was. She said ISH came through in an incredible way - the care and the compassion shown to her and her family blew her away. We hear a lot from the patients at ISH as to how they were treated differently - whether they are from around here or not, they feel like part of the family … part of the tribe.
It always interests me to hear this. I wonder why this isn’t the case all the time. But then I think back to growing up in Sioux City. If I was in Morningside Presbyterian (our church), I would be treated like part of the tribe. If I saw church members at the mall or in their car - we’d probably wave at each other and greet each other warmly. When I moved to a small town - everybody waved at each other from their cars, and even though we don’t have a mall - everyone would greet each other at the different stores and on the street. Our tribe isn’t limited to one organization - it’s everywhere.
Since the culture in our small towns is to be nice to everyone (I realize not everyone is nice, but the majority are), and care and compassion are expected and welcomed … it would make sense that our businesses and organizations follow suit. And I know we do and that makes me happy.
Don’t ever underestimate the difference you make by caring for someone in a loving way. Being nice and kind is a superpower. It’s our superpower.