Hospital CEO's Message of Hope

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Hospital CEO's Message of Hope

Dear OU Medicine Family,

With the holiday season upon us, I find myself reflecting on our year together, even more so this year than in years past. Together, we have endured one of the toughest years in our lifetime. Most importantly, we have overcome challenges by focusing on the people we serve and serve with. We have stayed true to our mission and kept the patient in the center of all that we do. The last week in Oklahoma has been colder and darker than normal with multiple storms and snow that has lingered. Even though it is the coldest, darkest season of the year, it is also a time when our celebrations are most warm and meaningful, and hope is rekindled to new brightness. There is much to be hopeful for as we look to the future.

Monday is a special day – December 21st – the Winter Solstice. It is the longest and darkest day of winter, yet an event that is the perfect symbol of hope on the horizon is occurring – something that hasn’t taken place in 800 years.

In what may be one of the darkest, most troubled years of our generation, a planetary conjunction will occur. This magnificent event, called the Great Conjunction of 2020, is also known as the “Christmas Star” of biblical narratives or commonly seen as “the Star of Hope.” It will be the brightest star in the sky and the brightest it has been in our lifetime.

The two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will be visible in the southwestern night sky, closer than at any time since 1226 A.D. To our eyes, they’ll appear to merge as one. It promises to be an incredible event that won’t return again until 2080. Local weather conditions seem favorable for viewing in our region. Take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be awed by the beauty of the natural world. You might even feel hope come alive again. Numerous websites offer livestream viewing with start times around 4 p.m. CST on Dec. 21.

Since early this year, our hopes have been largely focused on vaccine research and development, and over this week, the first vaccines were administered here at OU Health. As we watch COVID-19 vaccinations roll out to front-line team members, we feel hope rising. At the same time that we see this Star of Hope, we see hope in the vaccine, bringing light to a time of incredible darkness.

We are living in an historic era. A decade from now, 2021 will likely be the year of transition into a post-pandemic world. We’ll make great strides, but it won’t be instantaneous. We know from experience that transformation is a process. And because we’ve endured so much, we will find the strength and resolve to keep going.

At times through the year, we all may have felt that we were wandering in darkness, looking for some kind of light. Through this darkness, our Star of Hope - what keeps us steadfast and focused – has been the patient and what we must do to meet each need. Each patient becomes a Star of Hope, a fixed guide that reconnects us to purposeful living and serving. Together we have experienced the toughest times and the greatest challenges the year could throw at us and have drawn closer to those we serve, and those we serve with.

There is hope on the horizon amidst a dark 2020.

With sincere thanks for all you do as a combined effort, and wishing you all the warmth, brightness and hope the season has to offer –

Chuck Spicer, FACHE

President and CEO