From the CEO's desk: The heartwarming holiday memo Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay Berdan sent to his team

This memo was sent from Texas Health Resources CEO Barclay Berdan to all of the system's nearly 24,000 employees Dec. 20 and shared with Becker's Hospital Review.

What do you associate with the end-of-year holidays?

For many of us, the season involves time with family and friends, giving of presents, enjoying too much food and lights — lots of lights. Dec. 20 marks the end of Hanukkah, called the Festival of Lights, with the illumination of the final candle on the menorah. Christmas lights shine in our homes and neighborhoods, reminding us of the joy of this time of year. Las Posadas includes lit candles in its commemoration of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. And Kwanzaa will begin Dec. 26 with the lighting of the first of the seven candles representing the principles of the annual festival, culminating with the final lighting Jan. 1.

Many other faiths and traditions also emphasize light, seeing it as the triumph over darkness and good over evil, as well as a mark of the Supreme Being's presence. Light helps us see the way forward to achieve our dreams and help make the world a better place.

In healthcare we are blessed to be able to symbolically light the way for our patients. Every day our caregivers and those who support them help patients and their families by shining a light at what is frequently a dark time in their lives.

This is especially true during the holidays, when patients' sense of isolation and uncertainty can be overwhelming. While being away from their own families, Texas Health employees, physicians and volunteers personify compassion. They model kindness and devotion to taking care of their patients, family members and colleagues – body, mind and spirit.

I'm inspired by stories of employees, physicians and volunteers going out of their way to brighten the holidays for patients and their families. From decorating patient rooms to purchasing gifts for patients to give to family members, the Texas Health family spreads the light.

This same kind of compassion for those we serve is shown by thousands of caregivers across the country, in hospitals, outpatient centers and doctors' offices. I say 'thank you' to all of those who take the time to help a light shine in people's lives.

Best wishes for a joyous and healthy holiday season. 

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