One year after Wayne Memorial Hospital admitted its first COVID patient, the hospital has asked area churches and other houses of worship to ring their bells at 12noon on Friday, March 5th to commemorate the lives lost, survivors’ struggles, frontline healthcare workers who stayed the course and all who have been impacted by this deadly virus. The hospital is also encouraging the public to come out and ring a bell at the same time.
“We can’t have big events because of COVID,” said Wayne Memorial Public Relations Manager Lisa Champeau, “but that doesn’t mean we can’t show ‘community’ in the fight against it. When you hear the bells ring on March 5th, we invite you to ring a bell and dedicate a moment of silence for all those who suffered so immensely and all of us who to this day find our lives very much structured around COVID-19 concerns.”
The COVID unit team at Wayne Memorial includes doctors, nurses, physician-assistants, nurse aides, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, radiology technicians and physical therapists. There are, however, many others in the hospital who have also been essential to the upkeep and health of the entire hospital, such as housekeeping and maintenance employees, and the registration clerks who screen patients at the door and check them in for services. In the past year, policies and procedures at WMH have evolved continuously with the situation-- for example, visitation has been restricted and then loosened several times according to the pandemic levels in the community.
“The community has adapted with us,” said David Hoff, CEO of Wayne Memorial Hospital & Health System. “And they have supported our efforts with compliance and with donations of masks and meals for our staff. It’s been a year-long partnership that we hope will help us overcome the pandemic together. The ringing of the bells is a safe way to salute what has been a hard year—with hope for the year to come.”