frontline workers

St. Mary's Hospital Holds Tree Planting Ceremony to Honor Frontline Workers

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During a week dedicated to celebrating nurses, Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury held a tree-planting ceremony to honor their frontline workers.

The theme was rooted in strength, and it recognized the resilience of their nursing staff during what’s been a very difficult couple of years for the health care industry.

Hospital leadership, nurses and local dignitaries gathered Friday afternoon for the planting of a Weeping Cherry tree on the southeast side of the hospital near Union Street. The hospital said a Weeping Cherry tree represents good fortune, new beginnings and revival.

"This tree will continue to represent our strong legacy. It will signify that our roots will support us as we continue to grow into the future. Thank you for being our strength and our hope. You all make a difference every day, every shift every minute," Shawna Edwards, Saint Mary’s Hospital’s chief nursing officer told the staff.

NBC Connecticut

Nurses also shared stories about their experiences, including a critical care nurse who started volunteering at St. Mary’s when she was 12 years old.

"We are in the thick of things, making things happen every day. My work is meaningful to me. I still, after all these years, enjoy helping people and using my critical thinking skills to witness patients heal," said registered nurse Gina Nemense.

St. Mary’s Hospital plans to put a bench near the newly-planted tree to give staff a calming space to relax. They plan to install the bench soon.

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