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Published on December 15, 2016

Grateful for care right down the road

Grateful for care right down the road

Redwood “Red” and Mary Wright of Woods Hole not only have longevity on their side, they have enjoyed good health most of their lives.

“We’ve always been healthy so we never really needed much hospital care,” said Red. “There were occasional emergency room visits or a scheduled checkup.”

Longtime supporters of Falmouth Hospital, the Wrights have watched the hospital transform from the ground up into a strong, innovative community healthcare provider.

The couple, both accomplished in their own right, have been married 60 years.  They moved to Woods Hole in 1960 when Red accepted a position as public information officer with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). He later returned to college to study oceanography and worked in the field at WHOI before finishing his career at what is now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

Mary holds master’s degrees in education from Columbia University and in history from the University of Rhode Island.  While raising their three children, she served two terms on the Falmouth School Committee and six years on the Massachusetts State Board of Education, appointed by then Governor Michael Dukakis.

They have been community–minded throughout their lives and Cape Cod Healthcare is one of the grateful beneficiaries of their philanthropy.

Now in their late 80s, the Wrights stayed healthy until a few years ago when cancer and cardiac issues required hospitalizations for both.

“We came away from the whole experience with renewed and expanded understanding and appreciation of our local hospital and all connected with it,” Red wrote in a letter to the Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation.

Lightkeepers Supporters

Years before their medical emergencies, the Wrights joined the Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation’s Lightkeepers program as a way to give unrestricted philanthropic support to their community hospital. Lightkeepers provides the opportunity to form a personal relationship with a member of the foundation team who is available around the clock to help navigate Cape Cod Healthcare and facilitate an understanding of the healthcare system.

For the Wrights, that personal relationship is with Patty Peal, manager of donor relations.

“We spent a lot of time in the hospital, which is when we began to appreciate what the Lightkeepers group does for us,” said Red. “Patty was right there, she took care of us and she has become a close, personal friend.”

When a medical emergency sent Mary to the hospital by ambulance, Red followed behind the EMTs and, by the time he arrived, he found Patty by Mary’s bedside.

“When Patty is there to help us, we know we have an advocate, someone who is looking out for us,” said Red. “It makes us feel that things are going to be all right.”

Red said he and his wife have been encouraging their many friends and neighbors to sign up with Lightkeepers.

Through their philanthropy, the Wrights are helping Cape Cod Healthcare reach its strategic objectives to fully integrate its physicians, technologies and facilities in a model of patient-centered care. They contribute to Falmouth Hospital regularly, directing their gift to where the need is greatest. The Wrights have also helped raise money for the Yawkey Emergency Center expansion and the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod.

With their continued support, Falmouth Hospital and all of its services will stand ready to help them when their future healthcare needs arise.