The Lake Region Healthcare Foundation is spearheading a support project for staff at Lake Region Healthcare and Prairie Ridge Healthcare. The project seeks community assistance in a coordinated effort to show appreciation and support to health care workers as the COVID crisis continues.

The project is an effort to stock “Healthcare Hero Appreciation Stations” to be located throughout their facilities, and seeks community donations of cash, food items, notes of appreciation and other items to show support for the health care employees who have carried a very heavy burden during the COVID response, and especially during the last wave of increased positive cases.

“Our teams have been nothing short of amazing through the past months, and the especially difficult past few weeks,” said Lake Region Healthcare CEO Kent Mattson. “Hours are long, stress levels are high and the fatigue is very real. Yet they continue to show up and do the work they’re called to do with compassion and excellence,” he said. “Internally we continue to offer tools, resources and encouragement through many avenues, but the gestures from the community — the people they serve — are so much more meaningful,” Mattson said.

Many in the community have already reached out with offers of support according to Mattson, and the pop-up appreciation stations are an effort to coordinate and supplement those offers right where staff works, to ensure the sincere sentiments and expressions of gratitude reach health care staff at this time when they need and deserve it. There will be several stations set up in both Fergus Falls and Elbow Lake hospitals and clinics as well as the clinics in Barnesville, Morris, Battle Lake and at the cancer center, Mill Street Residence, and the walk-in clinic so staff throughout the organization have easy access to the pick-me-ups.

Businesses, individuals, school classrooms, service clubs, churches and individuals are all invited to contribute anything from food and snacks to artwork, written notes, emails, or banners. Cash donations are also being accepted and will be used to purchase items to keep the stations stocked with refreshments. Email messages of support can be sent to Foundation@lrhc.org and they will be printed and displayed at the stations. Donations can be made to the Lake Region Healthcare Foundation COVID Relief & Response Fund and dropped off or mailed to 712 S. Cascade St. Fergus Falls, or made online at lrhc.org/foundation/make-a-donation. Arrangement for dropping off donations can be made by calling the foundation office at 218-736-8498.

“We hope people will pour it on and that meaningful support comes pouring in from those in the community whom our staff work tirelessly to serve,” Mattson said. “We internally are stepping up to recognize our folks at these stations, but when it comes from the community, it means the most to our staff, and they most certainly deserve it.”

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