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November 18, 1994

The selection of Perry Memorial Hospital as one of the top 100 medical care centers in the entire United States is such a stupendous honor that I can hardly comprehend exactly what it means. Think of it: Our little hospital, with all the limitations imposed upon it by size, location and population, limited resources and personnel, not to mention the fierce but very real competition it faces as a care provider, has just been ranked among the entire nation's elite! What a signal honor.

This has to be a moment to savor not only for Judy Feuquay, the administrator, but also for every full-time and part-time employee, every technician and laboratory worker, every staff member in the nursing arts, dietary people, medical records people, our wonderful cadre of local physicians, advisory board members, housekeepers and all the others from various disciplines who have worked so hard, so long to establish Perry Memorial hospital as the very best it can be. Now we have official confirmation that it is just that.

This community also can take pride in the honor because you and I have made it a point to see to it that we have competent medical services right here where we need them. Did I say competent? Make that EXCELLENT! Perry has always responded when the hospital made it aware of specific concerns. Notable among these would be the recent successful campaign to purchase CAT scan equipment for our hospital. Friends, it is that kind of cooperative spirit that makes our town such a special place. Ask someone from another city our size and see if they don't confirm that.

Our hospital will be written about in journals and popular .publications for the next several months as a result of this selection. Ms. Feuquay already has been contacted by major news media people, and, that is just another indication of the magnitude of this honor.

As the devoted husband of a lady who was medical technologist and X-ray technician at the hospital just a few years ago, I have a personal affinity for the place and I understand a little bit of the sense of accomplishment now being enjoyed by the people out there. I don't want to take away anything from what they have just achieved, but I do share with them in their hour of glory and I still owe a, debt of gratitude to them. Because that's where Laura and I met in the first place. She came here from Oklahoma City to work at the hospital and I was lucky enough to make her acquaintance early on because, as a newsman for The Journal, I had to call her to get a story for the paper about her arrival. Well, one thing led to another, you know, and the rest is history. But this is getting far off the subject.

I just have to believe that Perry has been blessed many times over, and this recognition of the quality of our hospital is one more indication of how fortunate we are to live here