December 19, 2022 – One person can make a difference. It starts with an idea and then the idea is put into action. That is exactly what happened four years ago when Josh Mosley, Director of Process and Performance for Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center, shared an idea with his boss, Big Sandy Regional Chief Executive Officer Tim Hatfield.
That idea has turned into an annual coat drive. Mosley says “Since pitching the idea to Tim Hatfield during one of the first times I met him, I had his full support. ARH has a strong commitment to improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve.”
A couple of months before Christmas, Mosley contacts Family Resource Coordinators from local schools and requests lists of children that have only sizes as he is very conscientious about protecting the children’s privacy. He compiles all the lists into one, sends the list via email and employees respond with what size they will take. Some departments take a few coats, some individuals will purchase coats while some individuals prefer to donate money for coats.
Tim Hatfield comments, “Josh is a great leader on our coat drive. The Highlands ARH employees have purchased hundreds of coats for our school kids in need of warmth.” Hatfield continues, “This project has and always will be a labor of love for Josh and our employees.”
This year, Highlands ARH employees provided approximately 150 coats to local children. In years past, as many as 250 new coats have been collected but Mosley said the list was shorter this year. While the list was shorter, the need was greater for adult sized coats as more middle and high school students were on the list than usual.
When asked why he continues to lead this project year after year, Mosley says, “Honestly, I’m inspired to continue because I’ve been on the receiving end of this as a child. I know the struggles of growing up in poverty and having parents that may not have made the best choices. Everyone deserves the warmth and comfort of a coat, regardless of age or socioeconomic status.”
Mosley and volunteers collect and sort the coats by school. Lists are double and triple checked. Once he is satisfied that everything is correct, Mosley contacts the Family Resource Coordinators for pickups and drop-offs.
Mosley says he wants people to remember that there are children in need and it is those children that this project strives to help by providing warmth. He says, “Coats are a basic human necessity. It’s our job to protect those who are most vulnerable among us and children can’t help the situations they are in. Children of all ages deserve every opportunity afforded to them regardless of socioeconomic class. We have a duty to help those who aren’t yet able to help themselves.”
Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), is a not-for-profit health system operating 14 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, Martin, McDowell, Middlesboro, Paintsville, Prestonsburg, West Liberty, Whitesburg, and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs more than 6,500 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and the single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third-largest private employer in southern West Virginia.