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2012 Spring Marillac Clinic Director's Corner

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Steve Hurd, PhD - Marillac Clinic External Executive Director

"Look forward to the good that is yet to be" 

-Mother Xavier Ross, SCL

For the past 11 years at Marillac Clinic, I’ve relied upon these words from the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Mother Xavier Ross.   Striving to apply these words – this vision - to my work and my personal life is a statement of my faith in God and my faith in each one of us.

Our community developed a vision where ALL of us, regardless of socioeconomic or insurance status, would have access to the entire continuum of needed health care services.  This vision guided our community well before Marillac opened its doors in May 1988.  

Marillac emerged from this vision. Our community developed a unique response for helping our vulnerable members access quality health care despite having no coverage.  Our community insisted that these special people receive health care from providers who treated them with respect and dignity. 

Our community gathered sufficient resources to implement a novel concept:  fully integrate medical and mental health services in the primary care setting by physically bringing these providers together.  In 2001, I welcomed the invitation to join the Marillac staff as its first psychologist.

When I realized Marillac’s values were similar to those I closely held, I gladly embraced our mission.  I had no idea that in 2004, I would be chosen to become Marillac’s Executive Director. 

Now, we have evolved to a healthy interdependency.  What would our community do without Marillac? What would Marillac do without our community?  Marillac and our community are fully integrated.  Next year, Marillac will celebrate its 

25th anniversary, and this will become our community’s celebration.

Continuing to be inspired by the words of Mother Xavier Ross, I’ve decided to open a new chapter in my life and retire from Marillac. This will be the last time I will write “The Director’s Corner” in the newsletter.

Some may wonder why I want to retire.  By the end of this summer, I will have five grandchildren.  They live in New York City, Sacramento, and Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  My “Papa Hurd” time has arrived.  Also, my medical condition requires me to live closer to sea level to enjoy a better quality of life.  No doubt God has a plan for me – yet to be revealed.  So I move forward in faith, trusting in the good.  With this spirit, I depart from the community I so dearly love. 

In my role as Executive Director, I made numerous presentations throughout the country as Marillac’s innovative way of providing care received extensive media publicity.  During my talks, I inevitably received one question, “Is Marillac a federally qualified health center?” My response:  no, Marillac doesn’t want to rely upon the federal government for funding.  Our model of integrated care would be compromised and more expensive if we needed to adhere to federal regulations.

Even more revealing about the special character of our community was a comment I heard from many, “Well, we could never do that where I live….”

Our community’s health care system was publicized as the “good news” in a documentary televised nationally in February by PBS. More good news is yet to come from us, while our community continues to unfold our vision.  No doubt there are some tough challenges ahead.  When we encounter these times, we need to remember the words of St. Vincent DePaul.  “We must be firm as to the end; meek and humble as to the means.” 

Please allow me to express my love to all of you.  I look forward to visiting you in the near future and sharing what we’re learning on our journeys.

 

With warmest regards,

Steve