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‘They came to our rescue’: Community gathers for parade to show appreciation to health care workers

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 9:21 PM EST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Thursday afternoon, Bluegrass Care Navigators partnered with Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) and the Hazard community for a parade called ‘Let your love shine for the frontline’.

“We just want them to have this moment to show our appreciation for all that they’re doing all the sacrifices they are making and say thank you,” said Jill Conway, the Director of Provider Relations for Bluegrass Care Navigators.

Conway said the parade came to be, after officials with ARH reached out to her, looking for additional support for their nursing staff.

“One of the things we came up with was for the community to do something because it is so hard, we feel helpless cause there’s not a lot of options for what we can do safely,” said Conway.

After all the parades and support last spring, Conway says the appreciation died down.

“It’s been almost a year now that we’ve been dealing with this pandemic and these healthcare workers have been working so tirelessly, but it really is just kind of an effort to give them that last little boost in these final months before everyone is vaccinated and we can hopefully move forward,” said Conway.

Gail Baker participated in the parade. She volunteers with the hospice center and her two daughters work at the center as well.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing to just show them a little bit of gratitude and the community reaching out to show them love and support for them,” said Baker.

She is glad to show support in any way she can after everything they have done.

“We just couldn’t say enough about how I’m sure that they’ve taken a toll and been worn down and really been through it,” said Baker.

Healthcare workers were emotional, saying the support is overwhelming.

“Sometimes you feel forgotten because we’re still working the long hours and a lot of people making a lot of sacrifices and at the right time when we’re all feeling overwhelmed the community again has just come to our rescue,” said ARH Nurse, Judy Craft.

She says they have had staffing shortages and nurses are working 12 hours a day, four to five days a week.

“It’s made a world of difference to again see that the community still wants to celebrate this hospital, all the hard workers all the health care workers that’s doing everything that we can to keep up the good fight,” said Craft.

The parade went by the Perry County Ambulance Service, After Hours Clinic, Little Flower Clinic, ARH Medical Mall, Quantum Clinic, Primary Care, Bluegrass Care Navigators hospice center and ended at Hazard ARH.

The parade ended with a prayer service that aired on WSGS.

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