Milestones Along the Way

Summer 2014
 
Dear Friends,
 
I find it hard to believe, but it’s been a year as of June 1 since I assumed the role as president and chief executive officer at Good Shepherd. I felt then and still do that my move here is one of the best decisions I’ve made. My family and I love living in the Lehigh Valley and it didn’t take long to feel like home. And my work here has been immensely fulfilling on so many levels from getting to know our incredible staff, residents and volunteers, to meeting our donors and getting personally acquainted.
 
There’s another milestone date coming up and that’s in July when we mark the five-year anniversary of the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit in Bethlehem. Since opening, the unit has cared for almost 500 children, some coming from as far away as Wyoming. It’s an extraordinary resource right here at home and I feel great pride whenever I talk to a parent whose child has been helped by our caregivers.
 
But nothing I say can top the story of Johnny Webb, featured in this issue. Johnny was a micro-preemie, born at 27 weeks. He came to us, incredibly fragile and medically-complex, and after five months left happier, healthier, and stronger.
 
Thank you to his parents, Tara and Chris Webb, who shared Johnny’s story in a video featured at our Gala in the Garden benefit held May 31 benefiting the pediatric unit. It is a story that is both heart breaking and uplifting. I hope you'll watch it and be as inspired as all of us were at the gala. 
 
Thank you too, to all those who have placed their faith in us these last five years — the parents, for giving us the opportunity to help their children and you, the donors, whose gifts sustain our mission. Last, but certainly not least, thank to our staff, whose unflagging dedication makes miracles happen every day. 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
John Kristel, MBA,MPT
President & CEO