Wednesday, October 29, 2014

After 43 Years, Honoring A Local Country Doctor

Dr. Linford Gehman (photo by Paul Beiler)
The sold out crowd attending the annual Highland Retreat Camp Banquet at Eastern Mennonite School last night gave a standing ovation in honor of Dr. Linford Gehman's 43 years of service at the Green Valley Clinic located near Bergton.

Dr. Gehman and his good wife Becky, long time nurse at the Clinic, have led a staff of RN's and Physician Assistants over the years who have been revered by this rural mountain community and by everyone at neighboring Highland Retreat just across the road.

This coming January the Clinic, founded in 1949 by Gehman's predecessor Dr. Charles Hertzler, another selfless provider of health care for the area, will close its doors and merge with the E. A. Hawse Health Center in Baker, West Virginia. Sometime after that the Gehmans may actually retire.

There were plenty of tears last night as Dr. Gehman and others reflected on the impact the Hertzlers, Gehmans and their staff have made on countless lives over the past half century. Both Hertzler and Gehman were known for personally putting in long hours, taking numerous calls at the doctor's residence next door to the Clinic, and making late night house calls if necessary, sometimes regardless of people's ability to pay.
photo by Jon Styer, EMU Crossroads magazine
 (Dr. Gehman, Elaine See-Dellinger, RN, Hanna Reinford, PA, and Sam Showalter, MD)

"We've had a wonderful symbiotic relationship with the Clinic during all these years," said Pastor Lee Martin, former Camp administrator and and board member, "but the camp program has always benefited the most, and it's hard to think of no longer having the Clinic and the Gehmans as our neighbors."

May God continue to bless good and faithful servants like these.
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