Small Group of Friends Share Thanks and Appreciation for COVID Nurses at Strong
For some of the hardworking nurses at Strong Memorial Hospital, the holidays are a little brighter thanks to a warm-hearted group of long-time friends who live across the Rochester area.
Taken together, the informally dubbed “Lovely Rockers” hand wrote and adorned nearly 50 thank you notes full of encouragement for nurses caring for COVID patients, and enclosed them with gift cards to local businesses totaling $995 in value.
Mostly retired educators, these 13 ladies with friendships going back nearly 40 years gathered up the impressive collection of gifts to show their appreciation for the life-saving and challenging work of the nurses caring for COVID-19 patients at Strong.
These ladies have shared a lifetime being there for one another, from college through retirement. This past summer, with COVID in the picture, they gathered outdoors at a local park, sitting socially distanced, just talking.
This fall, with COVID numbers again rising and in-person gatherings postponed, these Lovely Rockers were thinking a lot about our health care workers. “These heroes are risking their lives and their mental health while they do everything they can to keep these patients alive,” explains Ginny Pschierer, a retired Special Education teacher who connected the dots to make this most recent group activity a reality.
Before long, through her husband’s connections at Friends of Strong Memorial hospital, Pschierer began investigating ways they could help, and together the group decided to create the thank you notes and include gift cards so that the nurses would know that a group of people care about them and appreciate them.
“I feel sad for their exhaustion and despair,” she says. “I remember how we were all in this together in the early months . . . how people cheered them on during shift changes and rang bells and clanged pots and pans across the world. It was so heartwarming. And now I don’t see as much of that.”
“I am so touched and inspired by their generosity and creative ideas to support our caregivers,” says Karen Davis, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive at UR Medicine. “I am proud to live in a community with people like them who understand the incredible work that nurses are doing, and want to recognize and reward them.”
Pictured Above: The Lovely Rockers at a group wine-tasting in 2019. In no particular order: Suzanne Armstrong, Peggy Cagle, Shelly Cogliandro, Robin Conner, Connie Jones, Mary Jo Mathew, Donna Metherell, Gina Michener, Sue Pryntz, Ginny Pschierer, Bonnie Watson. Not pictured: Cathy Ribert, Judy Moulton.
Matt Ulakovic |