By Margaret Stadtwald
MUSCATINE, Iowa—Each day, doctors, nurses, clerical staff, maintenance workers, cafeteria staff, and many other people at UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital work to make sure county residents get the healthcare they need. With COVID-19 cases now developing in Muscatine County, hospital staff work harder than ever to provide safe and effective care. To honor their efforts, Ashley Loveless, director of public relations for Pearl City Media and host of Afternoons with Ashley, organized Friday Night Lights April 3.
Though the public may not visit hospital staff in person, Loveless found a safe way for the community to share their appreciation. She invited families from across the community to park in the hospital’s parking lot and flash their lights simultaneously as a way to thank everyone who works there for their service.
At exactly 8 p. m., Loveless reported, “the entire main parking lot and ER parking lots were packed with cars, trucks, vans, and emergency vehicles, and they were all filled with families there to show their support.” While everyone’s lights flashed, Loveless had a hospital staff member read a message over the intercom, letting them know, “the sacrifices that each of you make to care for others during their time of need are heroic, and we want you all to know, we see it.”
Later, Loveless received many positive messages from staff at the hospital. “I heard from several supervisors and employees after the event and they were all very touched by the event and the showing of support from the community,” she said. “One of the supervisors told me that they have noticed their staff having an extra pep in their step and that they really needed this event to keep them going and give them hope,” she added.
Loveless hopes to hold more Friday Night Lights events to support front-line workers. She encourages anyone who wants to participate to like Afternoons with Ashley on Facebook and watch for event invites.