It is surprising how quickly the seasons can change. It feels like just last week, we were celebrating Labor Day and the “end” of our summer season.

We also just honored those who served in our military on Veterans Day and soon (depending on when you might be reading this) we will gather with family for Thanksgiving.

As I shared last year, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Re-reading my note from last year, it struck me how thankful I am to be here in Sussex County as the leader of your community health system.

In that note, I shared a few of Team Beebe’s ideas that were tips for the community on how to stay safe for the 2020 holiday season. It reminded me of how special Sussex County is.

There is such a commitment from our team members here at Beebe. It is our very nature to care for the community. So much so, they were willing to share their own traditions (even if modified, slightly, for safety) with the community. The connection is real and unique — a word too often overused — but true here.

Walking in the Sea Witch parade, many of our team members felt that care and connection reflected back at us — at a time when we all could use a thank your or morale boost. Beebe and this community are family — always there for one another. I know this because Beebe has been part of the Sussex County family since 1916 — growing close for more than 105 years as your healthcare provider.

No matter how you see things, 2020 and 2021 have been challenging. So much has changed since the last holiday season. We have a safe and effective vaccine and a better grip on how to treat COVID-19 patients, and I believe that portends the safe return of many holiday and family gatherings.

What remains unchanged is the commitment from Team Beebe. I want to thank them for their incredible passion, dedication and love for this community. I want to celebrate Team Beebe and their achievements from the past year during this holiday season.

It was President John F. Kennedy who said, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” I think about that a lot this time of year, and how we can thank the people to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.

And for many of us, there is still so much to be thankful for despite the hardships of life. I am so thankful for my wife, Rebecca, for supporting me and being my loving partner in life. My children (including fur-babies) and their health. My friends. A wonderful executive and leadership team. A supportive Board of Directors who is deeply committed to our community. A great job with meaning and purpose. The wonderful support from our donors and this community.

And incredibly thankful for Team Beebe.

Dr. David A. Tam, MD, MBA, FACHE, assumed the role of Beebe Healthcare President & CEO on March 17, 2020. He has experience as an officer in the U.S. Navy and in large public health systems. He completed his pediatrics residency at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, Calif., and a pediatric neurology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia.