Orofino,Idaho-Window on the Clearwater
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Grateful and Grieving

by Dr. Ann Lima, Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics

I am grateful for my coworkers at Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics.

It has been a long nine months and I am thankful every day that you come to work to serve our community. You are there for various healthcare issues - emergent, acute, chronic, COVID-19 or otherwise. You have provided nourishment in a variety of different ways, sanitized and readied rooms for the next patient, provided financial aid options and given resources for healthcare benefits, listened to someone on the phone, sometimes taking heat from someone who is facing a crisis, swabbed many noses, answered endless questions, held hands of those in pain or dying or in need of personal contact, encouraged others through therapy sessions, and given dignified care to those with less than glamorous needs. You have been called in to help when your coworkers are sick. You have worn masks for 12+ hours a day and learned the PPE (personal protective equipment) shuffle to keep the next patient you take care of safe. This also applies to the staff of Clearwater Health and Rehabilitation, Brookside Landing, Elite Home Health and Hospice, St. Joseph Hospice, Compassionate Care, Alternative Nursing Services, and many others. Thank you for all that you do. You are needed now more than ever and please know you are appreciated.

At the same time, I am grieving for the loss of community members. We are losing more every day - to cancer, heart disease, accidents, lung disease, but also to COVID-19. I knew the day would come that we would be hit hard, and we have been preparing ourselves for months. But I still don't want it to be you, or your grandmother, or your uncle, or anyone you love. It is harder in a small community, where I know most of these casualties of the pandemic. And although they may not be registering in the public statistics or in the obituaries, those of us who love them and have cared for them know what has happened.

I feel exhausted, but I promise to continue going every day that your trust is placed in me, and I promise to work hard to figure it out, get you better, and work with you to honor your wishes. We are each other's community and sharing in gratitude and grief is what we do.

Wishing you safety, sanity, health and happiness this holiday season.

Photo: Dr. Ann Lima, in full PPE, has added a photograph of herself to the front of her gown to help patients easily identify who she is. (Photo courtesy of Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics)

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140