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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

A little bit of willing today


This past week I have gotten to hang, be in meetings and just spend time with some pretty cool dawgs and cats. So I thought I might share a bit with all of you.

If anyone went to Coulee Medical Center last week, you might have noticed four fresh faced youngsters hanging around. They were interns from the University of Washington. After a week of job shadowing some of our professionals in the medical field who call Coulee Country home, they spent the day at Lake Roosevelt High School. They spoke in 5 different classes, focusing their topic on what to expect in college, UW, Health Care Careers and tips on how to succeed. They made an impact. All of them came from different paths, but they joined together flawlessly to give nuggets of gold to our kids – kids who are getting ready to take flight into their own adventure.

“It was pretty cool to hang out with people a little older than me and talk about things I want to do, that they are doing,” one student said to me after spending lunch with the four interns. They were even invited to have some birthday cake after their day of talking was complete (compliments of Kylie Marchand). Happy Birthday, Kylie.

I also got to do some family-style bowling last week at our local bowling alley, a couple nights after we took over 50 kids there to bowl, compliments of LR’s Native American Club. It was fun to spend time with family, in a bit of friendly competition. The night we took the kids, it was great to see so many different students all smiling and having fun together. A great time was had by all. The new manager at the bowling alley is pretty cool, too, and wants everyone in town to come do a little “black light bowling.” I recommend it to all. They are super friendly and it is pretty cheap for a few hours of bowling. Go check them out and support a local business.

I was also at the school board meeting Monday night. A lot of positive things are happening in the school, and that night was a display case. Some hope on the financial front, much needed training, an award was given and the after-school program showed numbers proving its worth.

There was one thing that will hurt, or at least sting, a little bit. Joette Barry resigned after a bucket load of years on the board. Joette is one of the members of this community who is almost solely responsible for getting us a new school. She and a handful of others put in so much work, more than we will ever know, to get this school built right here. But she has done so much more than that.

The rock-steady lady on the school board, raising 25-plus kids (OK, I know it was not 25), referee, librarian, SAFETY program advisor and more. She has earned my respect over the years and then some. She will be missed more than we can imagine. We may not have always seen eye to eye, but she has always shown respect and earned it. She asks the hard questions and makes sure we all do things by the book.

She will be the first to tell you she is not perfect. But what she is, is willing. Willing to serve her community, willing to teach, willing to open her home, willing to ask difficult things and willing to correct them. And when you are willing, things happen; and Joette made things happen.

Of course, she had a great support system behind her, but that is another story. I personally will miss you Joette, your leadership and no-nonsense approach to things. Thank you, Mrs. Barry.

So whether you’re an intern, a business owner or a volunteer, being willing to do something is important. Here are three examples of being willing and how it sewed into the lives of youth in our area. If we were all a little more willing to do things, even the things that do not seem fun, we would cause an atmosphere of change to take place. Kids’ eyes open. Their hearts soften. Their communication begins, and smiles appear.

Thanks to all six of those about whom I wrote and to those that are willing every day.

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