Valentine’s encourage Cedar Rapids healthcare workers on frontlines amid pandemic

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 6:49 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Healthcare workers were shown some love in Cedar Rapids today, thanks to area high school students who made hundreds of Valentine’s.

When COVID-19 altered daily life for millions of Americans, there were some who didn’t have the option of staying home. Hundreds of frontline workers at UnityPoint St. Luke’s and Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids have had to face the pandemic head on.

“The team floated all throughout the hospital and helped out with COVID units but during the surge in November, the unit actually did convert to COVID entirely,” says Molly Eilers, Nurse Manager in the orthopedics unit at St. Luke’s.

Nearly a year in, staff at the hospital are still putting in extra hours.

“We’ve been doing 8 additional hours a month,” Kara Flack told us, Nurse Manager in the inpatient rehabilitation unit at St. Luke’s.

It’s not just the workers, but their families that face a hard reality every day. Miranda Farr, the Vice President of the Prairie High School Key Club has a brother who is a healthcare worker in North Liberty.

“He’s on the frontlines and he could like possibly get this virus,” she told us.

Farr and her peers from the Prairie High School Key Club as well as members of the Xavier High School Key Club came together to make 1,000 Valentine’s to give to healthcare workers in Cedar Rapids.

“To keep going because we need them and we’re thinking of them,” says Emma Speer, President of the Prairie High School Key Club.

Lindsey Barnes, another member of the club, has an Aunt who is a healthcare worker in Wisconsin.

“I hear like how tough it is so I definitely understand like what they’re going through,” Barnes says.

500 of the cards were delivered to Mercy Medical Center last week.

“It helps us keep our motivation up for the next few months or however long this lasts,” Kelly Brown told TV-9, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department at Mercy.

UnityPoint St. Luke’s staff received their Valentine’s this morning.

“Happy Valentine’s Day you’re in our prayers,” read one of the cards.

“It really comes to you like in your heart it just, it’s just amazing,” says Evelyn Williams, a Patient Care Tech at St. Luke’s.

“Sometimes it feels like it’s getting shifted away from it and other things are drawing people’s attention so it’s nice to be remembered, it is still really hard,” Deanna Boddicker says, Nurse Supervisor at St. Luke’s.

Their number one goal day in and day out is to see people go home well.

“We like to see them get well, go home. That’s what’s amazing about this floor, is they get well and they go home,” says Mary Connor, Patient Care Tech in the inpatient rehabilitation unit.

The Valentine’s gave a much deserved boost to the workers who were visibly moved by the gesture.

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