Earlier this month, Winter Storm Landon swept through Dayton, leaving six inches of snow and…
Inspired by a leather journal given as a gift from his daughters, Gary LeRoy, MD, a long-serving board member of Ohio’s Hospice and Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, recently penned “Quotes From the Edge of Nowhere: The Art of Noticing Unnoticed Wisdoms,” a book that recounts 10 randomly selected quotes from his journal.
“My daughters had written a little message in the journal about the importance of taking time to do something good for myself — like writing down my thoughts,” said Dr. LeRoy who serves as the associate dean for student affairs and admission at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, where he also is an associate professor of family medicine. “Their message made me think about the many little quotes that I had dropped spontaneously into my consciousness without warning.”
He began writing those quotes down in the journal about 20 years ago, but he never did anything with them until one day when he put them each on a small slip of paper and placed them in a cookie jar.
“When I was a child my mother had a cookie jar that she kept out of my reach on the top of the kitchen refrigerator. When I did something good, she took the jar down and gave me a reward of a cookie,” Dr. LeRoy said. “I put these quotes into a similar cookie jar. I pulled out 10 quotes to reward others with a chapter in this book. Each chapter was written at random in the order that the quotes were removed from the cookie jar.”
Dr. LeRoy hopes his newly-published book provides readers the opportunity to create their own life quotes by taking time to reflect on how they can arrive at true wisdom. Each chapter grew out of his consciousness. As he wrote the book, his goal was to bring personal joy to himself and service to others. Each chapter begins with a random story — one is a poem. This is followed by a narrative about where or why the “quote” may have originated. Each chapter ends with another one of the remaining 70-plus quotes that were not selected from the cookie jar to become a book chapter.
“Wisdom should be welcomed, not avoided or lost, in the noise of 24/7 social media tower of babble,” Dr. LeRoy said. “We are who we are because of our collective life experiences. But we are all on a journey to hopefully become more perfect individuals by not ending our pursuit of wisdom because we falsely assume that we know all the answers to life’s mysteries.”
Dr. LeRoy wanted readers to see the life experiences he stumbled over during his younger years so that they would learn the art of noticing unnoticed wisdoms.
“Hopefully, those that take the time to read it will learn how to see life’s potholes before they step into them,” he said. “If by the end of reading the 10 chapters, which can be read in any sequence you choose, the reader begins to see the beauty in everything and everyone, then my intent in writing the book will have been fulfilled.”
Dr. LeRoy is a practicing part-time physician at Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton, a federally qualified health plan. His practice is at the East Dayton Health Center where he has practiced as a board-certified family physician for more than 25 years. He is the past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). He has served on several community and nonprofit boards.
He has served on the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Board of Trustees since 2000. Dr. LeRoy served as chair of the board, 2005-2008. In 2011, Hospice of Dayton joined with Hospice of Miami County to form Ohio’s Hospice, a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in Ohio committed to a shared vision of strengthening and preserving community-based hospices. Today, affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice serve 37 counties throughout the state of Ohio. Dr. LeRoy has served on the Ohio’s Hospice Board of Trustees since 2015.
“Dr. LeRoy has been an outstanding leader on our Board of Trustees at both Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and Ohio’s Hospice. His wisdom and experience have inspired and guided us as we have grown from Hospice of Dayton to Ohio’s Hospice,” said Kent Anderson, CEO of Ohio’s Hospice. “It’s an honor and privilege to work with Dr. LeRoy. He is a leader locally, statewide and nationally. He is dedicated to our mission to celebrate the lives of those we have the privilege of serving by providing superior care and superior services to each patient and family.”
Dr. LeRoy is passionate about the mission of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and Ohio’s Hospice. “I serve this not-for-profit hospice provider for many of the same reasons I became a physician,” he said. “I want to make a positive difference in the life of other human beings by providing trusted service at critical life transitions.”
As a physician who specializes in family medicine, Dr. LeRoy cares for patients from conception though every phase of their lives. This includes the process of assisting them — and their families — with conversations about chronic disease care and end-of-life decisions. Often, these conversations include discussions about the invaluable services provided by hospice.
Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, an affiliate of Ohio’s Hospice, is a not-for-profit hospice provider. Since 1978, it has served patients and families in the Dayton region in their homes, extended care and assisted living facilities, and the Hospice House location in Dayton. Grief support services are available to the entire community through the Pathways of HopeSM Grief Counseling Center. Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton serves more than 1,000 patients and families daily, achieving national recognition for innovative services and outstanding care.
Ohio’s Hospice is a partnership of mission-driven, not-for-profit hospices in Ohio committed to a shared vision of strengthening and preserving community-based hospices. Members of Ohio’s Hospice share the values of serving each patient in an atmosphere of hospitality, respect and caring; attending to the social, physical and spiritual needs of each person we are privileged to serve; preserving and enhancing patient dignity; celebrating the life of each individual we serve; and reducing unnecessary suffering in the communities we serve.
Affiliates of Ohio’s Hospice include: Community Care Hospice, Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice, Ohio’s Hospice at United Church Homes, Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, Ohio’s Hospice Loving Care, Ohio’s Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties, Ohio’s Hospice of Central Ohio, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County and Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County.