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Douglas County Memorial Hospital Pay Tribute to Staff by Celebrating 2 Year Coronaversary

The past two years have been difficult for many due to the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic. The difficulties have been magnified for those who work in healthcare as they struggled to help fight the virus while also dealing with an intense workforce shortage.  With the pandemic slowing down, many are happy to have the past 24 months in the rear-view mirror.  The staff at Douglas County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) in Armour South Dakota took the week of March 7th – 11th to look back at the past two years and honor the staff for their dedication and hard work with a celebration called 2 Year Coronaversary.

The leadership team at DCMH put a lot of time and thought into the 2 Year Coronaversary celebration including special moments to be remembered and fun prizes that staff could win.  A COVID timeline was put together from the HICS meetings which helped everyone visualize the past two years. Katelyn DeLange, the Director of Nursing with DCMH says it was incredible to look back to February of 2020 to today. “This was a labor of love and took quite a lot of time, but it was so neat to see how far we’ve come!!” Katelyn DeLange, RN, BSN – Director of Nursing, DCMH. In addition to the timeline, a graffiti wall was created where staff could write memories, doodle, answer prompts, color, add drawings, write out quotes, bible verses and more.  The wall was a creative outlet where staff could share their emotions from the past two years with their own artwork.

Celebrating staff by offering prizes was a big part of the week with a variety of gifts, including a Traeger grill, home décor, kitchen tools and more. In addition to winning prizes, each employee was offered a 10-mintue chair massage from a local masseuse in addition to one free Lipid Panel through the hospital lab. Each staff member also received a t-shirt with “Healthcare Hero” on the back.  Leadership added one more special twist by providing a special treat each day, with the first letter of each treat spelling out the word COVID – a reminder of their hard work over the past two years.

C- Coffee Truck

O- Hors d’oeuvre (an appetizer potluck)

V- Veggie pizza (& fruit pizza)

I – Ice-Cream

D- Donuts & Drinks

Heather Messer who serves as the Lab Supervisor and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for DCMH was highlighted and celebrated by the entire staff as the facilities Healthcare Hero. Messer was featured as a SDAHO Healthcare Hero in July of 2021 and was very candid about the impact COVID-19 had on her and other healthcare professionals both mentally and physically.

This past week was a time to acknowledge just how difficult the past two years have been and to celebrate the dedication and hard work of the DCMH team. “This was a fun week and I really think it helped celebrate our efforts and the long haul it’s been since February 2020.  Katelyn DeLange, RN, BSN – Director of Nursing, DCMH.

The team documented their first Coronaversary in a video, click here to see it.

SDAHO is looking to share stories of innovation, creativity and celebrations happening within our member hospitals, nursing homes, assisted livings, home health and hospices. If you have something to share, please email info@sdaho.org to be recognized.

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