Healthcare Appreciation Day proclaimed
Published 1:50 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023
Last Friday, Sept. 29, was a special day at Clark Regional Medical Center as Healthcare Appreciation Day was proclaimed in Winchester and Clark County.
To open the ceremony, the JROTC unit from George Rogers Clark High School presented the colors of the United States and Kentucky, followed by the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed and Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates made the proclamation official after opening remarks from hospital officials.
“These are the real folks that do the work for us day in and day out,” said Clark Regional’s CEO Matt Smith.
In his remarks, Smith harkened back to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We could not have prepared ourselves for the impact that COVID would have on our world, country, our state and even here in our community, Clark County,” he said.
But healthcare workers stepped up to meet the challenge head-on.
“The resolve and the bravery from the frontline healthcare workers, including EMS, the health department, the pharmacies and the dedicated staff here at Clark Regional that made a huge difference, especially on our darkest days,” Smith said.
To close his remarks, Smith asked that those in attendance join him in a moment of silence to honor all those in Clark County who lost their lives to the virus.
After Reed read the proclamation, Clark Regional board member DeEtta Blackwell spoke.
Blackwell served as a nurse for over 30 years and spoke to what it often takes to work in healthcare.
“Our purpose is to acknowledge the everyday commitments and sacrifices made in order to keep each of us safe, health and happy,” Blackwell said.
She went into specifics about what some local healthcare entities do.
“The Clark County Health Department employees work diligently to protect and promote health by preventing disease and focusing on health for the entire community,” Blackwell explained.
The community is blessed with three long-term care facilities: the Winchester Center for Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Rosemary C. Brooks Place and Boonesboro Trail Senior Living and Care Facility.
“These heroes work around the clock. They keep our friends and family safe and keep them functioning,” Blackwell said.
Blackwell also paid homage to the numerous local physicians who work in the area.
“Thanks to these people, we have someone who cares for us every single day, whether it is a routine appointment or a sudden onset situation,” she said.
Of course, local first responders were mentioned by Blackwell.
“911 calls can be our lifeline, whether it is fire, emergency or whatever it is…Can you imagine having no one to call in the middle of a crisis?” Blackwell posed to the audience.
The ceremony concluded with remarks from Barry Warner, who spoke about how cared for the hospital made him feel when he was diagnosed with a serious illness.