I was asked to write a tribute to Susanne for the September newsletter. My initial thought was “where do I begin?” How is it possible to put into words the love and admiration felt for such a dear friend?
Susanne and I met in 1990 through church when our children were young. We connected later, professionally, when Susanne renewed her Registered Nurse license and we worked together at Duke Raleigh Hospital. Shortly after starting back to work as an RN, Susanne was diagnosed with cancer.
Her bravery and unwavering faith during months of grueling chemo were an inspiration for many. She won the battle at that time and experienced a 12-year remission of her cancer. This experience created a passion in her for helping those who did not have the resources or knowledge to advocate for themselves, and so the idea and dream for NeighborHealth took shape.
The early formative years revealed the difficulty and challenges in launching a health center; however, Susanne persevered. The faith-based aspect of the mission of NeighborHealth was at the core of every step. There was a strong desire that each and every patient feel the love of Christ as they sought medical care. Susanne was tireless in her efforts as Board Chair to see the dream become a reality.
In late 2015, Susanne and I began working together to realize the vision. There were not many days in the following three years that we didn’t talk or plan how to move forward. We saw God open many doors and provide in ways beyond what we could have imagined.
In June 2018 NeighborHealth opened its doors. The joy was tempered by the fact that Susanne had learned just a few weeks prior that her cancer had returned. Still, she persevered through more months of treatment and had the opportunity to see NeighborHealth become a reality with more than 6,000 patients served and over 15,000 life-saving COVID vaccines provided to our community.
I have asked God “why?”did she have to suffer so many times knowing full well that His word teaches us that His ways are not our ways. I am so grateful that she was able to see her hope and dream come true…a part of her will live on in NeighborHealth through those that receive much needed care and the love of Christ. She is missed so much! But I am confident that our Lord welcomed her with open arms with the proclamation, “well done my good and faithful servant!”
May God continue to provide comfort and peace to Bruce, Miles, Maddie, Brook, Carolyn, Reed, Stephanie, Anne and all of her grandchildren, whom she loved so much!
Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Rev 7:12
Love and peace to all,
Sue Ellen Thompson, Founding CEO
If you are interested in making a gift in memory of Susanne and recognition of her tireless efforts to establish NeighborHealth Center, please go to our giving page by pressing the Donate button below or contacting Susan Metts, Development Officer, at 919-812-3554 or firstname.lastname@example.org.