Nurses have long been recognized for their dedication and compassion, and National Nurses Week has been declared a special time to honor them.
One nurse, who works at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and volunteered to work at Catholic Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Facility at St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga, took her calling a step further. She chose to donate the extra, hard-earned “hazard” pay she received caring for COVID patients, back to the community that has given so much to the hospital. The nurse, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote a letter of gratitude to explain her generous, selfless decision:
“As a registered nurse of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our community for showing their support for all health care workers! A nurse has a special calling; it is to provide optimal care for all patients, which by the way become extended family members. Medicine is not an exact science, I struggle when patients’ experiences are not what were expected. I wish we had all the answers, but we don’t. Rest assured, the outpouring of good wishes, meals and rocks in our garden in the last few weeks has been so inspiring. I am appreciative yet humbled. As a nurse, I take care of patients-from stitches, to cancer, to COVID-19 – no matter your diagnosis, I will be here. With that being said, I have received the hazard pay, and feel that we are all in this together. Yes, I have my job, but many others don’t, so I am taking the additional money and giving back to the community that continues to support us.”
The donation of $1,097.50 was given to the Mount St. Mary’s Neighborhood Health Center 9th Street Clinic. The hospital’s mission committee, led by Vice President of Mission Integration Bernadette Franjoine, was so moved by the gesture that they matched the nurse’s donation.
All funds will be used to purchase gift cards to local grocery stores and restaurants, which will then be given to patients in need.
“There is a lot of need in our community,” expressed Sister Nora Sweeney, case manager at the 9th Street Clinic. “This pandemic has created food issues among many of our families, and this donation by one of our own nurses is so incredibly appreciated. Her actions, to help those in need, exemplifies the true essence of what the nursing profession is all about.”