This is a pretty exciting week here in the Northwoods.
Tuesday, members of the Howard Young Foundation, led by Board Chairman Trig Solberg, announced the purchase of da Vinci, state-of-the-art technology that will provide robotic surgery capabilities at Ministry Howard Young Health Care in Woodruff.
Splitting the cost with Ministry, the local Foundation’s efforts has not only prepared the hospital for success well into the 21st century, it sets the hospital up as a health care leader across the state’s Northwoods.
As our front page story states, this was an effort that highlights why we live here – the people. Solberg hit the nail on the head when he said, “Because of philanthropy, this is possible. This is what giving is truly all about. People first and foremost want their dollar that is contributed to touch the lives of others and this technology will surely do just that.”
But it goes well beyond the dollars. It demonstrates the power of human understanding and trust-building.
Led by Solberg and Foundation Board President John Lund, this organization is quickly establishing the third legacy of community giving for the hospital. The first legacy, of course, was started by the “Angel on Snowshoes,” Dr. Kate Newcombe; the second established by the incredible generosity of Howard Young.
With the purchase of da Vinci, the hospital will now provide services to patients who in the past have had to literally travel hundreds of miles. Couple that with the fact that Dr. Matthew Thomas, the Howard Young surgeon trained on the technology, has also had to spend significant amounts of time behind the wheel to treat his patients – that’s clearly not an efficient use of human and technological resources.
But you know what is the really good news?
Solberg and Lund stated while announcing the purchase of da Vinci that the Foundation isn’t finished. There’s much to do; much to accomplish to continue to keep our local hospital competitive. This week’s purchase is simply the start of the new legacy.
And with that news, we can only begin to imagine what is forthcoming.
We would be remiss to neglect the roles of all the individuals who have made this news possible – the Foundation; the medical and professional staffs at the hospital; Ministry; and of course all of the people in the Lakeland community who have come to understand the importance of a vibrant health care system.
As we move forward, there will be more people moving to the area for many reasons, including the top-notch health care facilities. No doubt, these people will also understand that the hospital’s continued growth is imperative in keeping our economy going.
We salute the Howard Young Foundation Board, Ministry, and all those who contributed toward this effort.
Like Dr. Kate, our hope is that the investment in people continues.