This article first appeared in Valley View Health Center's "All in a Day's Work." Valley View is a nonprofit located in Chehalis, Washington, with additional clinics in Centralia, Morton, Onalaska, Winlock, and Toledo. The photo below shows the Chehalis staff in December 2009. Guest Post by Janna, and employee of Valley View Health Center of Lewis County, December 23, 2009: I love Christmas and how it makes me feel. I love it when I see or hear wonderful caring stories about my coworkers or just kind acts of people in general. This is the season for sharing so I would like to share some wonderful acts of caring and kindness and the difference that we make in people's lives not only every day but at this special time of the year. While talking with a patient the Medical Assistant found out that her husband had just left her and their four children. She was so worried about what she was going to do for Christmas for her children. Without saying a word to anyone, the MA with the help of her family and another coworker was able to collect some presents and some cash for this family. When the patient came in for a follow-up she was given the gifts and couldn't believe that her children would have a Christmas. These employees did this for no other reason than that they cared and made a difference in this family's life. Another employee knows that one of her patients doesn't have a lot of money and doesn't eat well, so she purchased him a Holiday Family Meal gift card so she will be sure he has a nice holiday dinner. An elderly lady thought she was having a heart attack and this was as far as she could drive. She walked thru the door and we immediately had an MA come out. This coworker sat and held this patient's hand, listening, caring, and smiling as the woman spoke until the ambulance arrived. I have seen co-workers rush to their purses to get cab money so a husband whose wife was being transported to the hospital could be there when his wife arrived (they came by Para transit). Enough money was gathered so he could have a bite to eat while he endured the long wait in the emergency room. The husband shed tears because of the generosity of everyone. I know that there are many more stories out there. I know that every day, everyone at VVHC shows compassion, caring, and respect to all we come in contact with. I'm proud to be a part of this team. Merry Christmas to everyone and thank you, Santa's little helpers. Valley View Health Center provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services to Lewis County residents, primarily to the uninsured and under-insured, with payments based on a sliding fee scale.
My brother, David and I made a delightful trip from Christmas Hills Tree Farm to Mt. Rainier. It was a glorious day...the day after Christmas, and grandkids were playing with their bikes, scooters and all other kinds of toys. We decided it was the perfect time to take some photos. We headed for Morton, then Mineral and then down to Mineral Lake, where we hiked down to the waterfront and got some terrific shots of Mt. Rainier from a distance. Talk about joy! Then we headed up toward Mt. Rainier, going through Elbe and Ashfork, and finally up to the top, where the visitor center is located. It was 29 degrees and windy, and there were people from all over the world enjoying the view and the snow. We stopped quite a bit on the way up and the way down, and each captured about 200 photos. I'm sharing two for now. The surroundings were so peaceful and serene...delightful. And the van had a heated seat. Oh, what we suffer for our photography!