“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together” – African proverb
Those were the words that came to mind recently as I had the great opportunity to stand alongside so many community leaders as we celebrated the promise and potential of the innovative new North Shore Healthcare Center recently announced by Senator Mike McGuire , Dr. Tom Jackson (president, Cal Poly Humboldt), Dr. Keith Flamer (president of the College of the Redwoods), their deans of nursing, Kimberly Perris and Shauna Burdick, Connie Stewart and many others.
As I reflected on this remarkable achievement that will help strengthen healthcare training and address a key need of our community for decades to come, it also forced me to reflect on our incredible long legacy here in Humboldt County to demonstrated how we come together to meet. the needs of our community and how so much can be achieved when we work together.
For us at Providence in Humboldt County, this legacy began more than 100 years ago, with eight incredibly strong women (Sisters of St. Joseph) and led by a compassionate and visionary leader, Mother Bernard Gosselin. She and seven of her sisters arrived in Humboldt County in 1912 with the goal of “serving your beloved neighbor without distinction.”
This meant going into the community and serving in whatever capacity was available and partnering with others to care for their neighbors, as more could be achieved together. This vision and community collaboration led to the establishment of St. us over the decades, continuing to inspire those of us who serve here at Memorial Hospitals St. Joseph and Redwood today.
This spirit of compassion, foresight, and collaboration is embodied every day by our caregivers, doctors, and providers, as well as our sisters past and present (including our beloved Sister Pat Hayhurst of Eureka, who recently passed away last month, and Sister Thuy that remains on our board and can be found offering blessings to our caregivers at the bedside just last week).
Our teams at St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial are proud to share that this legacy lives on through our initiatives today, including another great collaboration we have with state and local stakeholders to serve those in need. I’m referring to the innovative and new program – The Providence Mother Bernard House in Eureka, that will help address long-term health and stability for many people facing housing insecurity in Humboldt County.
This much-needed program launch comes at a time in our community when there is a growing recognition of the significant impact of worsening post-pandemic rates of chronic homelessness on our community. When completed (late 2023), PMBH will be a permanent housing support program for people experiencing chronic homelessness. Once operational, the facility will offer a model of permanent supportive housing units (42 units) with convalescent care units (six units) and wrap-around support services that address the health and housing needs of each resident. These support services will be run by Providence CARE Network staff here in Humboldt County.
Nothing could be more fitting than this transformative new community resource, developed in partnership with so many within our community, named after Mother Bernard Gosselin, who had an unwavering faith in what we are capable of do here in Humboldt County when we come together in a common cause and purpose to serve those in need.
None of this could have been possible if not for the partnership of Connie Beck and the entire Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services team; the city of Eureka, housing authorities – the city of Eureka and Humboldt County, as well as the tireless efforts of the Providence Community Health Investment and CARE Network teams on the ground here in Humboldt County; the Providence Supportive Housing team, which brought housing development and operations expertise, and the many other local and state organizations that helped finance and build this project.
“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together” – African proverb … In my time serving our community, I have continued to enter with tremendous confidence in our future together because time and time again we show how far we can go when we work together here in Humboldt County, honoring the legacy of all who came before, innovatively elevating the health and well-being of all generations to come .
Darian Harris is the chief executive of Providence in Humboldt County.