Staying put and doing my best for WestCare

To the Editor:

I am writing to clarify my position on the recent events that have occurred within the Med-West Health System. First, I want to begin by giving everyone some background information. The career and wonderful life that I have been blessed with began at Harris Regional Hospital. I grew up in this community observing and mentoring with the pillars of our medical community (you know who you are). They taught me about medicine but also about loving patients and families, building strong relationships in the community, and about leadership.

I spent countless afternoons in elementary and high school at Dr. Haddock’s office (where my mom worked) learning from him and watching his every move all the while becoming more convinced I wanted to be just like him one day. In order to gain further knowledge about the breadth of medicine, I did rotations at our hospital in high school. After high school, I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant on 2 North and 2 West. I worked with some of the best nurses and aides I have encountered in my career (many are still with us).

I remember spending hours studying for the MCAT (the test you must take to enter medical school). At that time, Dr. Wolf and Dr. Mahar were new in town. They would come by and offer helpful advice and guidance. The nurses and other staff members I worked with served as counselors, study partners, and, best of all, friends that provided much needed support at a time when the journey I had ahead of me seemed so daunting.

After I graduated from WCU, I spent seven years in training, hoping and praying for the day when I could come back home and join the medical staff at Harris Regional Hospital. During medical school, I did several rotations with Dr. Ramsey. I was fascinated by his knowledge and the love he had for his patients. I came to appreciate the breadth and complexity of family medicine therefore decided I wanted to become a family practice physician.

Finally, in August 2011, I got my chance to return home. Thanks to Dr. Adams’s determination, I joined the WNC Hospitalist Service. I was welcomed with open arms by the hospital staff and my colleagues in the hospital and outpatient practices. I was more excited than I had ever been in my life to work with these wonderful people, take care of the community I love and to be at home with my family and friends.

The past nine months have been filled with ups and downs, as you have recently heard. A couple of months ago, I found myself asking “Where do I go from here” and “What do I do with the information I have been given.”

Ultimately, I decided I am not going anywhere. I love my job and the people I work with. I love taking care of the members of this community and don’t want to be anywhere else on earth. I have chosen to stay and support our hospital. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I hope we are able to build this hospital back to what it once was. I hope that the community understands and believes that we can take better care of their needs than any other hospital because we have a vested interest in them as a person and community member.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but what I do know is that I am going to work my very hardest to be as knowledgeable as possible, to take care of every patient to the best of my abilities and treat everyone here, both patients and fellow staff, as family because that is what they are. We have an excellent medical staff, hospital staff and administration, and if we all work together for the common goal of making this hospital better, I honestly believe that we will be successful.

Laci Jamison, MD

WNC Hospitalist Service

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