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Celebrate our local health care system

Since I began my medical career 50 years ago, I have been puzzled and fascinated by the process of healing. How do people find their way through a forest of pain, separation, and loss of ability, to regain confidence, good humor, and hope for the future, even when confronting only limited or poor options?

Due to an accident, I recently journeyed through our local health care institutions as a recipient of care, including ambulance, emergency room, anesthesia and surgery, hospitalization at MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena, and rehabilitation at Medilodge Alpena, next door to my former office. I entered this experience broken, frightened, and humbled, and from the compassion and expertise of every individual caregiver I met along the way, I have found answers to the puzzle about how one heals.

There are insufficient words in the English language to express the gratitude owed to the paramedics/EMTs, nurses, doctors, therapists, technicians, students, dietitians, housekeepers, managers, and administrators whom I met and got to know (often again!) on this journey.

In our current world of negativity and distrust of institutions, I want our communities to understand and celebrate everyone who works in our local health care facilities. Our health care systems may be imperiled by financial, technologic, and social challenges which constrain efforts to achieve goals of safety, justice, and equality. Yet, each of our caregiving professionals, young or experienced, are compassionate and generous beyond measure, deserving of trust and resounding gratitude in their daily struggles to heal our broken selves!

AVERY J. ATEN,

Alpena