Bonnie Svrcek

Bonnie Svrcek, Lynchburg City Manager

As the holiday season has begun with Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for our city and all that it has to offer its citizens and for the true community that we have the pleasure and privilege to live in.

I am approaching this holiday season with an attitude of gratitude particularly for the talent that city employees bring to residents every day in the delivery of services and for the health care facilities that our city and region enjoys.

I am grateful and have tremendous respect for approximately 1,200 city employees who deliver services daily to nearly 82,000 residents. From the time we wake up and turn on the faucet and flush the toilet to trash collection, street maintenance, parks, recreation, libraries, police and fire and nearly everything in between in terms of public services, our city’s public servants deliver.

No doubt we are far from perfect. Our National Citizens Survey results will be released early next year revealing that we have some improvements to make but will also reveal that our residents rate our city and its services similar to other benchmark communities. We are committed to a culture of continuous improvement.

In addition to having a family of public servants who bring their heads, hearts and hands to our residents every day, recent experience has revealed to me how incredibly fortunate we are with the plethora of medical specialties we have access to in our own backyard, or if you live in the city, I would say “front yard.” (I shamelessly encourage anyone with health issues that may cause you to access health care providers on a regular basis or may have a life-threatening condition to live in the city of Lynchburg where emergency services are second to none.) Heart, kidney, vascular, orthopedic, cancer, infectious disease, eye and wound-care specialties are just a few of the medical providers providing great care in our city and region. I believe it is quite unusual for a city our size to have such access. And, then, the support teams to the doctors and patients are second to none. The nursing staff, radiology, physical therapy, dieticians, physician assistants, among others are such a vital team that makes our health care services so extraordinary.

The city’s Economic Development “Blueprint for Opportunity” lists Centra as an anchor institution. I offer that Centra is not only an anchor institution but also an “anchor” for those needing extraordinary health care services right here at home.

Beyond my own attitude of gratitude, according to Forbes, there are great benefits to having an “attitude of gratitude” including improved physical and psychological health, enhanced empathy and reduces aggression, improved sleep, increased mental strength and improved self-esteem.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is simple — the return on investment is proven. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have … developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

As we journey through the holiday season, I for one will engage in a more deliberative daily attitude of gratitude; I hope you will as well.

I wish you the happiest of holidays and a new year filled with an attitude of gratitude!

Svrcek is Lynchburg city manager. Email her at bonnie.svrcek@lynchburgva.gov.

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