- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:35
- Published on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:27
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The night before my mother had a cerebral hemorrhage from which she never recovered we talked about how to deal with the impending bankruptcy by King George Medical Center which operated the Gateway Urgent Care.
My mother was usually brimming with energy and ideas and this time was no different. We both had ideas of how to keep an urgent care operating in the county.
Mr. WITTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the memory and the spirit of a true community leader, Ruth Herrink. Ruth served as the editor and publisher of the King George Journal in King George County, Virginia.
Ruth passed away on Saturday, October 12, at the age of 87 after decades of service to her community.
Ruth was “indomitable,’’ in the words of her daughter, Jessica, and “always wanted to promote things that were positive for the community.’’
The communities in and around King George County and our great Commonwealth of Virginia have lost an eminent spirit that connected and energized those around her.
Ruth’s daughter, Jessica, will assume her mother’s duties at the King George Journal and no doubt has a difficult, yet wonderful, challenge ahead of her to continue in the spirit of Ruth’s intentions for the community.
My condolences extend to Ruth’s family and the entire community of King George County.
To truly honor Ruth, we can all learn from her example and her passion to truly improve her community and the lives of those around her.
I remember she told me this was all God’s plan and that it would be better than ever in the end. At that moment, I didn’t realize that part of God’s plan was that she would die less than a week later.
The night she died I promised we would solve the problem and make certain the community wasn’t left without a full medical center.
However, with all of the chaos surrounding medical services viable practices have not exactly been clamoring to pursue new ventures. Each day as we directed yet another patient away it became clear that waiting around for Dr. Charming to appear was not an option and that we would just have to do it ourselves.
Well, while the urgent care service is not completely resolved we have taken the first step by an administrative opening next week of the new walk-in 24/7 TLC Community Care Clinic in the space adjoining the urgent care offices.
Sounds a bit audacious but it is what Ruth would have done. After all, when I was in college my mother told me she was starting a bank. My reaction was ... okay. If she said she was going to do it I considered it done.
She had no experience running a bank, but she and the other organizers knew that women had a difficult time getting credit in those days. The solution - start your own bank.
WomenBank opened in Richmond in 1977.
In 1983 my mother called to tell me she was planning to buy a newspaper and a few days later she did.
Did she have any newspaper experience? No. But when she heard the paper was for sale her reaction - was how could you sell a newspaper?
So she bought the paper and then convinced me to leave the practice of law (not a hard thing to do!) and join her at The Journal.
How could the urgent care close when there is clearly a need for a walk-in practice in the county and a need for more primary care in King George, not less?
The construction loan to build the urgent care building was approved the same week the Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Chairman announced that unless the federal government bailed out the banks it was the end of life as we know it - or something to that effect. We built that building during the Great Recession.
My mother taught me that when you hit an obstacle you make it an opportunity. She had no plans to let someone else’s bad business practices keep the doors closed to primary and walk-in care for our community. In fact, she knew that we could and would find a way to provide even better medical services, and she was right.
The administrative opening allows for the intake of records and organization, as we prepare to formally begin medical services soon after the New Year.
Please plan to stop in to meet the RN’s, and volunteers who are making this happen. We are grateful for the founding support of many and look forward to partnering with many others in the community to bring innovative medical solutions to the region.
The new Community Care Clinic will be located at 11129 Journal Parkway, adjacent to the offices of Dr. Zavelsky, pediatrician. The number will be 540-625-2527.