Mary Palo joins ERMC as public relations/marketing director

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2000

Features Editor

Aug. 23, 2000 10 PM

Edge Regional Medical Center has welcomed Mary Palo as its new public relations/marketing director.

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Palo comes to ERMC from Dothan where she was executive director of the Downtown Group, which spearheads the city’s downtown revitalization project. The revitalization project

includes the mural project which has brought national acclaim to the city.

"Leaving the Downtown Group was a very difficult decision," Palo said, "but the opportunity to come to Edge Regional Medical Center was one I didn’t want to miss. This is the perfect job for me at this time in my life. I’m excited about being in Troy and looking forward to working, not only with the hospital and the health community, but with the entire Troy and Pike County communities."

Palo has worked in hospitals before, but never for hospitals.

She worked with the American Lung Association for more than three years. She worked extensively with the Open Airways and Asthma Safari programs. In fact, the Asthma Safari was an idea that she help initiate and develop.

"My son suffered from asthma and watching your child struggle for air is a very scary thing," Palo said. "Educational programs designed for children who have asthma and their families are invaluable. The more a child and his or her family know about asthma and the better they are able to manage it, the better the quality of the child’s life."

Palo said asthma is a "huge" problem among children.

"We need to do everything possible to empower children to take control of the disease."

The Asthma Safari is an educational program that adds an element of fun to dealing with a serious health problem. Palo said it also provides an opportunity for children with asthma to interact with others just like them. That helps them to develop a more positive attitude toward living with asthma.

It was through her work with the lung association that Palo met Terry Watkins, education outreach coordinator for ERMC. And, it was Watkins who told her about the marketing position that was open at Edge.

Although she enjoyed

work with the Downtown Group, Palo said it had gotten to be more involved, time and energy wise, and left little time for the other important things in her life.

"When Terry told me about this position, I knew immediately that I was interested," she said. "I was familiar with the hospital and I knew it was an outstanding health care facility and was doing good things for the community and in the community. I wanted to be a part of it and I’m so happy to be here."

Palo and her husband, Matti, who is retired from the military, are originally from New York, but

have made their home in Enterprise for 16 years.

"When I worked for the Downtown Group, I said that I lived in Dothan and slept in Enterprise," Palo said, laughing. "Now, I’m sure I’ll say that I live in Troy and sleep in Enterprise. I want to be involved in the Troy community because I know there are a lot of exciting things happening here."

The Palos have three children and three grandchildren. One daughter lives in Enterprise and one in Denver. Their son is doing a residency in orthopedic medicine in New Orleans. They are typical "Pike County" grandparents who take pride in a grandson who has been accepted at the Alabama School of Math and Science in Mobile.