Today is the last day that I will work with Tom Dowdell, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for WMHS as he begins his new life of retirement on December 29th. Tom and I began our careers in Cumberland six weeks apart, Tom around Halloween in 1989 and I started in mid-December 1989. We never imagined that we would work together for 23 years; most marriages don't last that long. We became friends instantly with the same Black Irish sense of humor. We laughed together, cried together, but most importantly respected the hell out of each other. We served as each other's confidents; we mentored each other and on some occasions even tormented each other.
The legacy that Tom has left for us is amazing from the consolidation of the two hospitals to form the Western Maryland Health System to building a new hospital and over two decades of unbelievable accomplishments before, after and in between. I am not sure what December 31st, the next day that we would have worked together after today will be like, but I have wonderful stories and fabulous memories that will last a lifetime. God speed, Tom.