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Spectrum Health honors healthcare workers

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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich.— To honor and support healthcare workers and nurses, Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph, Michigan held an luminary event where people were encouraged to write the names of nurses they want to honor

“They are really doing so much for our community and our families. Sometimes they have to isolate themselves from their own families, it’s a very difficult job right now,” Executive Director of Clinical Best Practices Jennie Stocks said. “We’re all hopeful that with the medications and the vaccines hopefully soon that we get this really under control, and people can breathe a sigh of relief.”

It’s been a tough few months, especially for healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. As a way to honor nurses and healthcare professionals during nurse’s appreciation week, Spectrum Health Lakeland in St. Joseph Michigan organized a luminary event.

Jennie Stocks has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years. She said the event was a  symbolic way to pay tribute to the heroes, rallying around the community during our best moments and darkest hours.

“You see a nurse when you first come into the world, when a baby is born and you see them when you’re having chemotherapy or fighting cancer,” Stocks said. “And so they’re honoring their neighbors, their friends, their loved ones for facing, especially today, this worldwide pandemic and share with them the light of their compassion, their strength and their hope.”

People were encouraged to take part in the special celebration by writing names on paper bags, and placing a candle inside to shine a positive light on these difficult times.

The luminary bags were displayed outside of the hospital as a heartwarming show of appreciation for those risking their own lives to help others.

“This is a really challenging time for our nurses since COVID-19 arrived. Especially on the front lines we have three more emergency departments, they’re always on the frontlines. We have some COVID units and so much was unknown in the beginning, yet I saw the nurses display such strength and passion to care for not only our patients but each other,” Stocks said.

The luminary event took place at two other Spectrum Health locations.

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