VIDEO: Hundreds show up to support Clark County healthcare workers

Holding signs, honking horns, and blaring sirens, they showed their thanks for nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic


VANCOUVER — Hundreds of people showed up at both PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, and Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital on Wednesday evening to share their appreciation for healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Clark County.

At Legacy, Clark County Fire District 6 lined up with emergency rigs outside, lights flashing, and sirens and horns blaring at 7 p.m. to show their appreciation.

Christine Douglas of Washougal holds up a sign saying thanks to medical workers at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver on Wednesday night. Photo by Mike Schultz
Christine Douglas of Washougal holds up a sign saying thanks to medical workers at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver on Wednesday night. Photo by Mike Schultz

“It’s more just to let them know that we appreciate them, and we know they’re on the frontlines too,” said Fire District 6 Chief Kristan Maurer in a video posted to their Facebook page. “There’s so many people on the frontlines of this that it’s important we try to recognize everybody.”

Nurses and other medical professionals held back tears, watching the crowd of onlookers applauding them, many with phones out to record the moment.

Nurses working the emergency department check-in area at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center acknowledge hundreds of people who showed up Wednesday to say thank you. Photo by Mike Schultz
Nurses working the emergency department check-in area at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center acknowledge hundreds of people who showed up Wednesday to say thank you. Photo by Mike Schultz

It was a similar scene at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

Kristin Smith, an assistant nurse manager at PeaceHealth organized the event on Facebook.

“Let’s show the staff at PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center the love and support our community has for them during this time in all of our lives,” she wrote.

Medical workers inside PeaceHealth Southwest acknowledge hundreds of people who showed up Wednesday to say thank you. Photo by Mike Schultz
Medical workers inside PeaceHealth Southwest acknowledge hundreds of people who showed up Wednesday to say thank you. Photo by Mike Schultz

Many people showed up with signs, from a simple “thank you,” to messages such as “you are not alone,” and “we believe in you.”

While many heeded Smith’s urge to maintain social distancing by staying in their cars, dozens gathered in groups on the roof, prompting some backlash. Including in a post on the Facebook page of KATU News.

“If they want to support the brave health care workers, why are people grouping together in the first place?” wondered one Facebook user. “This is the LAST things that they would want and I’m at a loss as to the purpose of this event.”

Still, the event seemed to be especially touching for healthcare workers, who stood outside a new patient drop-off area and waved to the crowd, or held up hands in the shape of hearts from windows in the building.

Young people showed up Wednesday to share a message of hope with healthcare workers at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Photo by Mike Schultz
Young people showed up Wednesday to share a message of hope with healthcare workers at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. Photo by Mike Schultz
Many who showed up at PeaceHealth Southwest for Wednesday’s Be the Light event disregarded requests to remain in their vehicles, drawing some criticism online. Photo by Mike Schultz
Many who showed up at PeaceHealth Southwest for Wednesday’s Be the Light event disregarded requests to remain in their vehicles, drawing some criticism online. Photo by Mike Schultz
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