March through May represented National Doctors’ Day, Administrative Professionals Day, National Volunteer Week, National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week celebrations — a time to honor and celebrate so many talented and compassionate people. This year’s celebrations were overshadowed by a higher priority: a pandemic of proportions never seen in our lifetime. Our health care professionals provide the best care year-round, but we watched their tremendous dedication, calmness and leadership. Their personal sacrifice in the midst of a pandemic was awe-inspiring.
Stories like that of Dennis Campbell prove this. Campbell was prepared to die of COVID-19, leaving behind a wife and three children. While he fought for his life, doctors at Saint Joseph Hospital offered the 48-year-old an alternative treatment. Within days of receiving hydroxychloroquine, he was at home recovering with his family. In an interview with the Richmond Register, Campbell credited the medicine for saving his life and expressed gratitude for Saint Joseph Hospital.
Providing Light in Darkness
National Volunteer Week celebrations were postponed in April. Our faithful volunteers serve by our side every day, and although it was a tremendous void not to have them in the hospitals, they continued their ministry off-site making pocket prayer quilts and homemade masks, and keeping us in their deepest prayers. From July 1, 2019, to March 10, 2020, we saw 468 volunteers donate 35,854 hours to our hospitals in Bardstown, Berea, Lexington, London, Mount Sterling and Nicholasville. Those volunteers also contributed $95,333 in gifts to the Foundations.
Kathy Mattone, market director of Spiritual Care, said isolation was one of the “most distressing” obstacles facing hospital patients during COVID-19. Mattone and her staff, in partnership with volunteers, quickly found creative ways to provide support and care for those patients who would normally have loved ones visiting.
“We had to find whole new ways to do spiritual care,” Mattone noted. “And a whole new area of parking lot ministry opened up. It just makes you realize that you can’t stop God, and you can’t keep things from happening even though it’s a horrible and impossible situation. So many really incredible stories of faithfulness, perseverance and hope have come out of this.”
The community also came together with the launch of our Emergency Response Fund to meet the immediate needs facing our staff and patients. The needs were tremendous, and the outpouring of support — in the form of everything from generous financial donations to flower deliveries to student-created posters — answered the call.
Learn more about the Emergency Response Fund to provide philanthropic financial resources to our hospitals.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 edition of Spirit of Health. For more stories like this one, subscribe to Spirit of Health magazine today.