Singing River Health System honors healthcare workers with luminaries

Singing River Health System honors healthcare workers with luminaries

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - As frontline healthcare workers continue to fight to keep South Mississippians protected, Singing River Health System is honoring those heroes with thousands of glowing lights at their three hospitals.

Flames danced inside paper bag luminaries lining the entrances Thursday night at the hospitals in Gulfport, Ocean Springs and Pascagoula.

It’s a simple gesture that Singing River Foundation Executive Director Laura Sessum said was to honor healthcare workers fighting on the frontline against COVID-19.

“For our team to have that everyday and to be facing that, I just know they’re fatigued,” said Sessum. “The battle is very much still going on for them.”

The luminaries honor doctors, and nurses along with other healthcare warriors who vigorously working behind the scenes in labs and pharmacies. Ocean Springs Hospital Administrator, Heath Thompson, said each department has worked long hours since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Our lab has processed over 50,000 COVID tests,” said Thompson. “That’s by far the most of any health care system or lab in the region. They just keep going. They find that energy and know that my community is counting on me.”

Seeing the luminaries on the same week as the first round of healthcare workers received their COVID-19 vaccination, Singing River Health System Chief Nursing and Patient Safety Officer Susan Russell felt that the luminaries represented a symbolic message of hope.

“Now we’re beginning to see that light at the end of the tunnel and that’s why I think the luminaries are perfect for this,” said Russell. “We are starting to say we are going to be able to beat this. We know these vaccines are going to help.”

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