DENVER — St. Joseph Hospital is launching several holiday campaigns to help give back to their healthcare workers as the coronavirus pandemic rages in Colorado and beyond.
Leslie McKay, executive director of the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, says they’re hoping to raise $25,000.
“To support the St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Fund and that fund will provide support to our caregivers for their social, emotional needs, their financial needs,” she said. “What we are trying to do is say, ‘we value you, we want you to take care of yourself.’"
It’s nearly nine months into the pandemic and Dr. Christy Chaudhuri says there's no denying it’s been tough.
“It is really hard, and we do still cry, which means we are still feeling it,” she said.
Dr. Chaudhuri has dedicated 19 years of her life to caring for patients and while death comes as part of a job, she says it’s heartbreaking when patients die of COVID-19 at a young age or without their family to hold their hand. Healthcare workers come in prepared, but she adds that it can be draining day in and day out as demand for care grows.
“The death rates are less, but the case counts are higher,” Dr. Chaudhuri said. “People are dying of COVID- and people who shouldn’t die are dying of COVID.”
Back in April, Coloradans howled to show their gratitude for healthcare workers, but that gesture has since faded. Medical workers now cling to the thank you cards that line hospital hallways at St. Josephs Hospital. Dr. Chaudhuri smiles as she recalls a letter that hangs on the wall from a 5-year-old boy named Edward.
“It said, ‘I’m glad you’re in the hospital, I feel safe knowing you’re there,’ and that has been there since March,” she said.
With caregivers, nurses and doctors working through the holidays and picking up extra hours, she says every kind gesture makes a difference and gives back.
“Having somebody say, 'you’re “A” game matters' that’s really, it fills the bucket, it fills a bucket that’s being emptied by all of this craziness because we are all human beings too,” Dr. Chaudhuri said.
After months of long hours and painful goodbyes, she says healthcare workers need support more than ever.
To help St. Joe's caregivers you can make donations online. “A Season to Shine” recognizes caregivers and helps support vital hospital programs. Contributions of $100 or more to the campaign receive a yard sign to show their support for Saint Joe’s caregivers. The campaign runs through December 31, 2020.
“Light of the City” is a Christmas celebration wreath auction. Local artists designed 18 unique themed wreaths. Money raised from bids will help support healthcare workers on the frontlines. This campaign ends on November 30, 2020. Donations will help increase access to mental and emotional health resources and caregiver fatigue assistance programs.
For those who can’t donate money, she says thank you cards help warm their hearts. Cards and letters can be dropped off at the front desk of a hospital or mailed specifically to the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, 1375 E 19th Avenue Denver, CO 80218.
“Thanksgiving should be every day, be grateful for every breath you take, every gift you’ve been given,” Dr. Chaudhuri said.