Thank you – it’s a simple phrase most of us learned to use regularly as kids. It can be a small expression of gratitude for something as simple as receiving a glass of water, or an emotional expression of appreciation for saving someone’s life. No matter the use – saying it and hearing it in a genuine way can make all the difference in our personal and professional lives.

The consistent expression of gratitude is important. Studies have shown that people who regularly express appreciation lead happier and healthier lives.

Being in a profession that positively affects the lives of others, we regularly receive gratitude and praise from our patients and their families. And while the praise of our patients reaffirms what we do day in and day out, it is equally as important that we regularly express appreciation for one another and our achievements.

I think most of us can agree that the past year at REACH has been an exciting one. We’ve grown rapidly and despite the increased commotion in our day-to-day lives, we’ve come out on top. We’ve expanded our operations, but more importantly, we’ve welcomed a lot of great people into our family. And to top it all off, we’ve been named Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services — what a HUGE honor!

As we continue to grow, I think it is important to recognize that we all contribute to the care of our patients, and ultimately the success of this company. And acknowledging our colleagues for their day-to-day efforts in this mission is essential.

I know that in this industry it can be challenging to find the right opportunity to say “thank you.” At times, it feels impossible to switch gears – much less pause during our workday. And while there may always be a task to be completed, it is important to find the time to acknowledge one another and the amazing things we are achieving here.

The excitement and congratulatory messages that come with being named Program of the Year just aren’t enough. At REACH, we always go above and beyond, and this applies to sharing praise as much as it does to patient care. We must take the time to appreciate the little things that we all do, because little things pave the way for big achievements.

From our pilots, flight crews and communications specialists to our maintenance and administrative staff, we all should feel appreciated for our hard work and our accomplishments. So in the coming months, I encourage everyone to find the time to express their gratitude and appreciation for one another. It doesn’t take much – a simple “thank you” or “good job” will do.

It is my hope that these small gestures of appreciation will remind each of us that our jobs are important, that this period of growth is essential, that our level teamwork is indispensable and that with each day at REACH we truly make a difference in people’s lives.

And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the part you played in helping us achieve Program of the Year.

-Sean Russell