An Open Letter of Thanks to the Patients, Staff and Friends of Dr. Robert Backus from his daughters:
As many of you are aware, our father, Dr. Bob Backus, retired in March after 40 years of service to the West River Valley and the residents of Windham County through his practice and time on the staff of Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital in Townshend, VT.
We are so proud of our dad and the hospital he helped to build. His sense of humor, his empathy, his razor-sharp diagnostic skills, deep medical knowledge and his honest direct approach all contribute to making him a wonderful doctor. He is also a wonderful father and husband to Carol.
One of the most important reasons he has become the doctor he is today is because of the incredible patients he worked with every day and the devoted professional staff in his office and at the hospital. On behalf of our entire extended family, thank you to Sue, Debbie, and all his office team, CEO Roger Allbee and all his colleagues and co-workers at Grace Cottage, and to this wonderful community of patients.
Just as he took care of you, you took care of him throughout the years by sending him personal photos for his office wall, eloquent notes and bad jokes that made our whole family laugh, delicious popcorn balls and cookies at the holidays that we would fight over, and other treasured odds and ends like freshly-killed venison, a cord of wood, a painted plate or a crocheted hat. Your love and kindness filled our stomachs and our home as children and today, as parents of children of our own. Each time we come home for the holidays, we meet a new person who has a great story about our dad.
Many of you have asked us what you can do for our dad in honor of his retirement. He hates a fuss as many of you know and we are pretty sure we will be in trouble big time for this letter but we wanted to leave you with three simple suggestions about the best way to honor him that mirror the lessons he taught us growing up:
#1 – Take care of yourselves. He worked hard to deliver many of you into this world and care for you. He is invested in you and your lives. Remember his great practical advice. Walk every day, get sleep, eat your vegetables.
#2- Do something nice for someone else once a day, even if it is something small, like writing a thank you note, checking in on a neighbor during a snowstorm or calling your kids and telling them you love them.
#3 – Support Grace Cottage Family Health & Hospital and the kind of medicine Dr. Bob Backus practiced in the Valley. Grace Cottage is asking for support for initiatives centered around Geriatric Care in Dad’s honor, to continue and expand on the kind of treatments and standards of care our dad used every day in his practice. Every dollar donated would go a long way towards ensuring success of Geriatric Care initiatives, including ever-expanding services of the Community Health Team, an annual Healthy Aging Conference for seniors, and educational initiatives for providers centered around geriatric care.
Thank you for your consideration and, more importantly, thank you for your love and support these past 40 years of our dad, Dr. Bob Backus.
Jenny Backus Carey Backus Sophie Backus, RN
If you prefer, you can call with a credit card handy, or send a check to the Grace Cottage Foundation, PO Box 1, Townshend, VT 05353. Check memo: Dr. Backus Tribute.