Doctor Hilary Miller of Ord is busy. Really busy. In addition to her duties as a physician in the Valley County Health System’s emergency room, hospital, clinic, three nursing homes, and one assisted living facility, she also serves as the medical director for emergency medical services in Valley County and seven surrounding counties.
She says her duties in the ER are particularly fulfilling. “Being a farm kid, I know how important it is to have an ER service. Some people drive 50 miles to get to an emergency room.”
Miller began her education at the University of Nebraska Kearney and completed it at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Social media wasn’t part of Miller’s curriculum but it would have come in handy. Her personal Facebook page is one of the main ways she remains in contact with her community and it has proven particularly invaluable in a global pandemic.
“There is a lot of misinformation floating around, especially on Facebook.” She hopes her voice will help guide community members in making better decisions about protecting themselves and neighbors from the coronavirus. “I’m trying to be that conduit to get better information to the public.”
Her feed is full of directed health measures updates, information on new confirmed cases, and pleas to mask in public and physically distance. Miller says for the most part, it’s been an easy sell thanks to the community-centric mindset of Valley Countians which existed long before “coronavirus” entered the lexicon. “Our neighbors are our friends and family. I’m not protecting me to protect me. I’m doing this to protect others,” she said.
When Miller isn’t at the hospital (or in the ER, or clinic, or visiting a neighboring county, etc . . . ), she spends her time volunteering for the Valley County Community Foundation Fund. She is one of three young women recently invited to join the Fund Advisory Committee. “We offer a fresh view of what the community needs.” Beyond her millennial and newcomer status, Miller also offers representation of the healthcare community, a perspective the group had been missing.
Among the many projects VCCFF is involved in, Miller is particularly excited about its efforts to bring quality childcare and early childhood education to Valley County. She thinks it could be a real attraction point for other young newcomers to Valley County. “When people are shopping for a community, this could be a major feather in our cap.”