Three wise women making state better

Published 3:38 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

By Staff
In the Christmas season, we hear a lot about the traditional Christmas story and the Three Wise Men. I've been thinking about three wise women who live and work among us but also are making a difference as leaders in our state.
It is not uncommon to see Carol Gordy, CEO of Natural Decorations Inc., and Ruth Harrell, the busiest and hardest-working retired public health nurse one could meet, lunching together.
Both women are volunteers extraordinaire and have a way of making things happen. Each time I see them together I immediately assume I need paper and pencil, thereby to record what they're up to.
They've been up to more amazing things lately.
Two announcements in our paper last week will tell you.
First came the announcement that the Escambia County Healthcare Authority, of which Harrell is a member, will break ground next month on a new health care facility in Flomaton. The facility, to be named the Flomaton Medical Center, will be managed by D.W. McMillan Hospital.
In the works for several years, the facility will become a new home for longtime Flomaton physician Dr. John Vanlandingham's practice. It also will include space for a certified nurse practitioner and a second physician, to be recruited by D.W. McMillan once the building is completed.
No doubt, a large committee worked together to make this happen. Just as surely, Ruth, who lives in Flomaton, wouldn't let them give up. A tireless crusader for issues of public health, she this year also is the state board president of Voices for Alabama's Children, an organization committed to working for a healthy, safe, and secure childhood for every Alabama child.
A separate story in the same edition announced that Ruth's sometime lunch partner, Carol Gordy, has been elected first vice chairman and chairman-elect of the Business Council of Alabama. She will take office as vice-chair on Jan. 1, 2006. Carol will be the first woman and the first CEO of a smaller business to hold this post.
The BCA is a statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of almost 5,000 businesses and industries, which employ more than 750,000 Alabamians. As vice chairman, Gordy will serve as president of Progress PAC, the BCA's political action committee. Progress PAC is one of the three top PACs in Alabama.
That's a huge role any year, but especially in 2006, when Alabama is about to elect a governor, a lt. governor, 35 state senators, 105 state representatives and other Constitutional offices. Carol's new job will put her in touch with many people who'll be leading our state for the next four years. That access will be good not only for the business interests she represents in the post, but is bound to be good for Brewton, as well.
I've never seen Dr. Marsha Raulerson take time to join the aforementioned ladies for lunch, but she's involved in some of the same projects. Dr. Marsha, as she is affectionately known here, is the president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. She is the past president of the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which works is to obtain optimal health and well-being for all children in Alabama. She, too, has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of children.
Our community and our state is better because of the influences of these wise women.
Michele Gerlach is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867.4876 or

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