Many times over, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded me how fortunate CMH is to have such an amazingly talented and resilient team of caregivers. It has been shown that practicing gratitude on a regular basis helps maintain a positive outlook and builds emotional strength. One of the highlights of 2021 was August 26, 2021. On that day, Astoria Mayor Bruce Jones issued a formal proclamation making August 26, 2021, Columbia Memorial Hospital Caregiver Appreciation Day. CMH and many community supporters gathered to celebrate the CMH health care heroes who work tirelessly to care for this community.
I wish to once again thank the CMH caregivers who worked at CMH during 2021. They are a dedicated group, and their perseverance through the last two years has been truly inspiring.
Although there are many I could list, here are a few other things I’m thankful for from 2021:
- Getting the community vaccinated: CMH caregivers were some of the first people in Clatsop County to receive their vaccines in late 2020/early 2021. Then, they volunteered to vaccinate the county — achieving a 63% full vaccination rate by the end of the year. We were glad to support that important effort.
- Assistance from the National Guard: Nearly 30 National Guard members uprooted their normal lives to work at CMH in the fall and winter while we experienced short-staffing. I am always thankful for those who serve with the military, and I know their help was greatly appreciated here.
- The giving hearts of our CMH family: With so many opportunities to give to our community through our jobs and other organizations, it’s always encouraging to see the support offered to the Friendship Fund, United Way campaign and Christmas Baskets food drive. On top of that, in 2021, caregivers stepped up to take incentive shifts, offer new things like take home meals, and help each other through counseling and listening sessions. I can’t say enough about our exceptional CMH team!
As you think back on last year and the pandemic, I hope you take time to remember what you’re thankful for — it’s good medicine for all of us. 2021 was another challenging year during the pandemic, but we saw so many instances of generosity, selflessness and compassion here at CMH. We look forward to the easing of the pandemic and getting closer to “normal” in 2022.