The Santa Clarita City Council, as well as city staff, delivered meals to the staff of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on Tuesday, as a showing of support for the work they’ve done over the past two years during the pandemic.
This marks the third time the city has gone out to help the hospital staff, having previously donated supplies and food in past visits to show appreciation for those who are risking their lives in treating COVID-19 while also addressing the everyday medical and emergency needs of the community.
“In the beginning of this pandemic, the community really came out in force and really supported our health care workers and it was a beautiful, magical thing,” said Dr. Bud Lawrence, medical director of Henry Mayo’s Emergency Department. “And then eventually, over time, the community became exhausted, health care workers became exhausted, everybody’s been exhausted.”
“So, acts like this to sort of rejuvenate the faith in our frontline workers are so special and so important,” Lawrence added.
Over the past few months, the Henry Mayo staff has been dealing with the latest winter surge in the pandemic, as the hospital has been inundated not only with COVID-19 patients — reaching hospitalization levels that neared its previous record for hospitalizations during the 2020-2021 winter surge — but also in staff becoming sick as well.
“The most important differentiator between this year and last year is that this Omicron variant is so contagious that we have a lot of staff members that get sick, just like everyone else in the community is getting sick,” said Lawrence. “When you have people that are missing work, just like other industries are missing workers, it really inhibits your ability to be as efficient as you’d like to.”
“And speaking on behalf of the ED and ED staff, we’re so thankful for the city to come and provide us with this gift,” Lawrence added. “It helps re-energize the motors a little bit to keep us going.”
Mayor Laurene Weste, who was in attendance with the four other members of the Santa Clarita City Council handing out 50 meals of turkey avocado wraps to the hospital’s emergency room staff, said the gesture was the city showing how proud they were of the clinicians and staff at Santa Clarita’s only hospital.
“They stayed on the frontlines; nobody knew how bad things would go or for how long,” said Weste. “It’s been a constant up and down road for them.”
“And they stayed on the line — they just kept serving the community and taking care of us and stayed in touch and we owe … frontline defenders a huge amount of gratitude,” Weste added. “We just wanted to let them know that we care about you, but it’s nothing compared to what they’ve done.”
Those wishing to also express their gratitude to frontline workers may do so by participating in the city’s #HeartsforHeroes campaign. For more information about the campaign, visit https://www.santa-clarita.com/city-hall/hearts-for-heroes.