One of the pillars of AdventHealth Manchester’s mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ and our service standards, Love Me, Keep Me Safe, Make It Easy, and Own It, is to bring high-quality healthcare close to home for our patients and communities. This lofty, yet achievable goal, finds it roots in the brave and dedicated Jeep Nurses of Oneida Mountain Hospital that brought healthcare to the homes of their patients, even when access to their locations was difficult, and sometimes, nearly impossible. These nurses provided whole-person care to their patients, ensuring their basic needs such as food, proper shelter, and medicines were tended to, as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
One of many beautiful examples of how the Jeep Nurses of Oneida Mountain Hospital practiced whole person care is the story of the Bush family. Tulamae Coble, a Jeep Nurse, tells the heartwarming story of how the Jeep Nurses, with the assistance of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Washington Missionary College, were able to provide Christmas gifts, dental care, household items, and were able to pay off the installment plan in full for the family’s gas stove because of the collaborative efforts of the church, the college, and the Jeep Nurse (Coble, 1961, p. 32-34). “Did the Bush family have a Merry Christmas? Indeed they did, and just because (as Mr. Bush says) the most wonderful people on earth shared the Christmas Spirit” (Coble, 1961, p. 34). This beautiful story reflects the heart and legacy of the Jeep Nurses and epitomizes the power of teamwork and sharing the love of Christ. The love for community and the patients they served inspires the team of AdventHealth Manchester to live up to this legacy and continue to provide whole person care for our patients and communities.
In her personal writings, Ms. Coble shares heroic stories of walking miles on foot when the terrain was too difficult to travel, even for her 4-wheel drive jeep; and wading through rivers on foot and occasionally being transported by boat to provide much needed care to her patients. She shares how she not only provided much needed medical care, but also educated her patients and their families about how to prevent health issues and about proper nutrition, vitamins, etc. (Coble, Chapel Talk). Ms. Coble and the Jeep Nurses’ dedication to the care of their patients, regardless of how difficult or dangerous the circumstances, is truly inspiring.
Just as her predecessors persisted through overwhelming obstacles and impassable terrains to care for the patients of rural Appalachia, AdventHealth Manchester’s Home Care nurse, Brittany Spivey, worked diligently and unceasingly during the recent ice storm that ravaged much of southeastern Kentucky. Brittany bravely went out in dangerous conditions to check on her patients, even when roads were sometimes impassable. Her dedication and love for her home-bound patients is such a beautiful example of AdventHealth’s mission to Extend the Healing Ministry of Christ and of the selfless love of Christ. AdventHealth Manchester is incredibly proud of the legacy of the Jeep Nurses and the amazing teams that currently serve our communities.
As we reflect on the amazing legacy of the Jeep Nurses during our 50th Anniversary Celebration, AdventHealth Manchester is challenged to maintain this noble legacy and continue to provide physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual care to our patients and communities. Ms. Coble and the Jeep Nurses of Oneida Mountain Hospital will never be forgotten. We are honored to continue their stories of bringing healthcare close to home.
Coble, Tulamae (1961, Winter). Christmas for the Bush Family. Mountain Life & Work: Magazine of the Southern Mountains, 37 (4), 32-34.
Coble, Tulamae. Chapel Talk. Print. Personal Writings.