#HailtotheFrontLine: Community reaches out to offer support

April 9, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Last week, faculty, staff and learners shared notes of gratitude to those on the front lines of patient care. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Messages and other shows of support have poured in from across the community, as well. From first responders to local and global businesses, from patients to Ann Arbor residents, individuals and companies have reached out to say “thank you” in many different ways.

The most visible sign yet happened last night, when public safety agencies from across the region participated in a vehicle procession. More than 50 fire trucks, police cars and other first responder vehicles paraded from Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti. The drivers of the vehicles turned on their lights with no sirens, and remained in their vehicles – per the Stay Home, Stay Safe initiative — as a thanks to the medical community.

“We just wanted to send our support and solidarity to health care workers,” said Mike Kennedy, chief of the Ann Arbor City Fire Department. “We can’t thank those on the front line enough. They are literally life savers and we want them to know that we’re all in this together.”

In previous days, local restaurants also delivered meals, Coca-Cola distributed soft drinks, Girl Scout cookies were passed out to various units and Toyota delivered face masks to the organization’s donation center and those serving on the front lines. Additionally, Michigan Medicine received tens of thousands of supplies from community members as part of an ongoing donation drive, and the U-M Association of Chinese Professors donated more than 36,000 much-needed items.

In response to such support, Michigan Medicine has set up a philanthropic fund. Contributions will support additional staffing to care for patients, the purchase of equipment to care for patients, the establishment of more drive-through COVID-19 testing stations, emergency needs for front-line workers, and a broad range of emerging opportunities to advance patient care and research.

Heartfelt messages

Here are just a few personal messages shared by community members in recent days.

They were submitted as part of a campaign called “#Hailtothefrontline.” Social media posts and messages of gratitude can be shared using the hashtag #Hailtothefrontline. For those who don’t utilize social media, you can still send notes, photos and videos to headlines@med.umich.edu. Messages will continue to be posted in the weeks and months ahead.

And as always, Headlines wants to say thank you to the doctors, nurses, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, Environmental Services staff, security personnel, administrators and hundreds of others who are taking care of patients and each other every day.

From Larry Prout, Jr.:

I am always grateful for the care that my medical team at Michigan Medicine gives to me. I have been so worried about everyone and hope they and their families are safe. I know my doctors and nurses are going to be okay because they are the strongest people in the world. They take care of everyone, they know what to do, they are brave!

When I have been scared at the hospital, my nurses and doctors and child life specialists do everything they can to help me feel better. They help take the pain away. I pray every day that my Mott family and their families stays strong and healthy!

From Sara Richmond:

Thank you for being the front line. For caring for our neighbors, friends and community. Thank you for taking care of me, my boys and my family if we get sick in the future. Thank you for putting others before yourself. For putting yourself at higher risk to help others. Thank you for doing what is right, what is needed and what is admirable. Thank you for being a hero. My boys today: “Someday, I want to be a hero like them.”

From Carolyn Zaleon:

We all owe an enormous thank you to all of the faculty and staff of Michigan Medicine for their service, going above and beyond during these difficult times. As a retired health care provider, I send a very special thank you to the hard working people who work behind-the-scenes to make everything and everyone function at their best. This includes, but is not limited to, the people who are a part of pharmacy, central supply, radiology, pathology services, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, housekeeping, nutrition services, maintenance and all of the many clerical staffs, along with physicians, physician assistants and nursing.

Check out even more messages of gratitude by clicking here. And see a video of Wednesday’s procession below!