I’m Proud to Wear the Badge

Last month, our CEO Greg Stone was out at the store, when…

Greg’s Point of View:

As I approached the checkout counter, I could tell the cashier was focusing on reading my Peach Tree ID badge before making eye contact with me. I had run into a local store to grab a couple of groceries before heading home after work. I had forgotten to take off my lanyard and badge upon leaving the office, which seemed to be of great interest to the woman working behind the counter.

“You work at Peach Tree?” she finally asked me as I stood in front of her.

I replied, “Yes, I do.”

“You’re the CEO?” she said with a surprised look.

“Yes I am.”

Now that she established (and everyone in line behind me is now aware) that I am the CEO of the area’s community health center, this conversation can typically heads down one of several paths;

  • A public rant on the poor state of healthcare, the local hospital or their own health insurance coverage.
  • A desire to have a check-out counter diagnosis of what ails them (i.e. “See this bump on the back of my neck? It seems to be getting bigger. What do you think it is? Should I get it checked?”)
  • A request for a job, a connection for someone looking to get a job, or a patient referral need.
  • Or the dreaded, and very public complaint about their service, care or relationship with Peach.

At this point I can feel my mind race to prepare a quick response, and my blood pressure rise in case I have to defend Peach Tree’s honor or apologize to her and everyone in line before buying my olive oil and onions.

“I want to thank you,” she said with an outstretched hand to shake. “Your doctor found my daughter needed glasses after her eye check at school last year. I never knew, because she never told me she couldn’t see well.”

“She probably didn’t know her vision could be any better. That is just how she has always seen the world,” I said as I shook her hand. “With nothing to compare it to, her vision was normal to her.”

“She’s like a new kid. Riding her bike again, loves to color and is happy at school. It’s amazing,” she said smiling while scanning my purchase.

“Awesome. Glad to hear that,” I said as I pointed to my glasses. “I remember my first pair of glasses too. Life-changing.”

“Yep. Every kid should be tested. Parents just can’t tell,” she responded.

“We’re working on it,” I said looking back at the queue behind me at the counter, smiling back at me.

What a rush it is to know we have made this impact! We care for hundreds of people each day in our clinics, yet rarely do we get to share in the downstream improvements that transfer to the lives of family members, friends and coworkers of those we serve. To know that I had some part in changing this young family’s life makes my heart soar. Team Peach continues to change the world, one person at a time.

Don’t you forget it.

— Greg Stone, Peach Tree CEO

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