Health care workers have helped the Santa Clarita Valley community push through the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the community gave back to its front-line workers.
Gathered in front of the new patient tower at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, the Santa Clarita City Council celebrated hospital workers on National Nurses Day, which observes the contributions they make to society, by projecting a big, red heart onto the side of the tower.
“The team here has been essential in caring for those who have tested positive, treating the dozens who have required hospitalization and we certainly grieve with them for the loss of lives who have succumbed to this virus,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth.
“And we’re here today to formally and officially thank you, each and every one of you, for your outstanding dedication and commitment to your community,” Smyth told several Henry Mayo staff members who stopped by during the hospital’s evening shift change. He was accompanied by personnel from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Among those present was Saugus resident Ann McGuigan. She waved to her sister Kathleen, who, along with other nurses at the top floor of the tower, waved back and held “Thank You” signs.
“I came out here to be able to thank all first responders, especially nurses here in the Santa Clarita Valley. I’ve lived here all my life, so has my sister, and I’m just here to celebrate her, unfortunately under this pandemic,” she said.
The illuminated heart, made possible with help from Illumination Dynamics, is the Hearts For Heroes’ logo, part of the city’s recent virtual campaign that invites the community to thank essential workers for their service during the COVID-19 crisis.
Watching the heart light up, alongside her colleagues, was an overwhelming feeling for nurse Angela Contreras.
“I just think the response from the community has been overwhelming. We feel the love when we come in, especially since it’s so uncertain right now, and to know that the community is behind us, supporting us really brings us assurance and faith that we can come to work and do our job,” she said.
Wednesday’s demonstration comes after council members, along with local businesses such as Wolf Creek Restaurant and Brewery and Illumination Dynamics, helped donate 1,000 medical masks, lunch and a generator for the hospital. The donation, made last month, joins several more from other SCV-based businesses and nonprofits, families and high school students.
For all local coronavirus-related stories, visit: signalscv.com/2020/03/covid-19-coverage-summary.