Old school blessings headed to the PeaceHealth family

Letters of encouragement can be sent to the hospital to bless healthcare workers during COVID-19

VANCOUVER — PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is going old school. 

In an effort to encourage and bless medical workers during the pandemic, they are asking the community to write uplifting letters and notes to the hospital staff. The tradition goes back to the founding sisters of PeaceHealth.

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is located off Mill Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, and was founded by catholic sisters many years ago. The letters are a continuation of their traditions. Photo by Mike Schultz
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is located off Mill Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, and was founded by catholic sisters many years ago. The letters are a continuation of their traditions. Photo by Mike Schultz

“One of the most inspiring elements of last couple months has been the support that we in healthcare have received from people in the community,” said PeaceHealth Columbia Network’s Chief Executive Sean Gregory in a video message. “Our friends, our family and loved ones, and even people, many people that we didn’t even know. As a result of that, we are going to kick off a campaign called ‘Blessing the Front Line.’’’  

In a release, Gregory said they were inspired by the “Be the Light” events, and thought it would be helpful to provide another way for people to express their support to the healthcare team. What they are calling “Blessing the Front Line,” allows the community to write letters or notes of any type and that are encouraging. 

If you write a letter, you can mail it to PeaceHealth Southwest ℅  “Blessing the Front Line P.O Box 1600, Vancouver, WA 98668. If you want to be more modern you can also send an email to blessingthefrontlines@peacehealth.org

Nurses at PeaceHealth Southwest can be seen here during a time where the community came out in their cars to support the workers. Photo by Mike Schultz
Nurses at PeaceHealth Southwest can be seen here during a time where the community came out in their cars to support the workers. Photo by Mike Schultz

“We will then share them with our colleagues sometimes one on one when somebody’s going through a tough time, and often in our groups and our meetings,” Gregory said. “This is a tradition that our founding sisters started where we start off each meeting with reflection. In this case, we will use letters from you, our friends, families, and neighbors, to help us with this process of reflecting and slowing down before we get into the business of our everyday work.”

As case numbers for the novel coronavirus continue to rise across the country, hospital staff are gearing up for increased numbers of sick people. Currently, many hospitals actually have less patients in them, but a high concentration of critical patients. This is because only truly ill people are being admitted, so the usual mixture of those recovering and those ill is less balanced.

Staff from both Legacy and PeaceHealth have told ClarkCountyToday.com this had led to increased stress and a more intense working environment for healthcare workers.

As seen here, PeaceHealth has nurses stationed outside under caapoys right now to reduce the amount of patients waiting inside the building.Photo by Mike Schultz
As seen here, PeaceHealth has nurses stationed outside under caapoys right now to reduce the amount of patients waiting inside the building.Photo by Mike Schultz

Donations by area businesses of food and personal protective equipment to PeaceHealth have been streaming in over the past two months. Gregory thanked the community in a letter, saying the donations were a visible example of how much the community cared about their healthcare workers. 

“Thank you for your encouragement. It is a blessing to be part of this community and it is a blessing to be in a position to serve during this time of challenge in our country and our world,” he said. “On behalf of our team at PeaceHealth, please know how inspiring and helpful your generosity has been over the last month.”

For more information on “Blessing the Front Line” you can visit peacehealth.org or email your notes directly to blessingthefrontlines@peacehealth.org.

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About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a graduate of WSU Pullman’s Edward R. Murrow College where he studied journalism and media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and abroad in Argentina. He has won a regional Emmy and Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his film work. His passions range from sharing the love of Jesus, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife and son in Vancouver, WA. Proverbs 16:3

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