Meeting the Challenge: Line the sidewalks

Colleagues gathered on the sidewalks outside of Flagstaff Medical Center and Verde Valley Medical Center on May 13th for a special Hospital Week celebration. Line the Sidewalk was created to show support and appreciation for the healthcare heroes at Northern Arizona Healthcare. 

“Employees at both campuses are lining the sidewalks to cheer on and encourage and recognize our awesome coworkers, and to let them know that they are heroes and they’re doing amazing work. So tonight we will be lining up. There’ll be some senior leadership. There’ll be other employees lining up and cheering on and holding posters for our coworkers as they come in to work, to recognize them for the awesome jobs that they’re doing,” according to Holly Blankenship, NAH patient relations specialist. 

Kelli Neal, Administrative Coordinator, Clinical Resources at VVMC came out to show her support during the event, “We did some chalk art just to tell people that we love them, that we appreciate them. It just kind of reminds me of a nice airport greeting as people come into work to tell them, thank you for all that they do.” 

An unusual time of celebration 

Recognition for staff during Hospital Week is more deserved than ever, according to Lori Smithson, Director Patient Care Services, Surgical Services Admin at VVMC, “It means a lot of things. I think, now more than ever, healthcare is on the front line and being able to celebrate people that sacrifice their lives every day to come in and make a difference to serve others and really give of themselves, they truly need to be celebrated.” 

Glen Green, Lead Biomedical Technician at VVMC says the event was uplifting, “I was totally surprised with the cheering and applause and care, it made me feel very special and supported. It made me feel humbled and it reaffirmed why I’m here doing my job and this is why I come here every day to do this. It fills my heart.” 

 “Most of them would probably just say that they’re doing their jobs. But especially with what we’re going through right now, I want everyone to know that they are appreciated more than they’ll ever know by us, by the community, by the people that they help, by the family members. Everything that you do is huge for our community and for each other,” shared Blankenship. 

Starting the shift with a smile 

One of the employees that was surprised as she came into work was Annrose Fumai, Senior Patient Access Representative for NAH, “As soon as I saw them about 110 feet, whatever it is, I’m not good with feet, I got all excited because it was really cool to see, and this is what we all need right now. It’s awesome.” 

Nate Tabeling says being part of Line the Sidewalk was personally rewarding, “The responses today were all positive, everybody was very appreciative. They enjoyed it. They loved seeing us out here; and it just made it that much more special, like part of the family. I really feel this is a family, the hospital here has been part of my life since I was a little kid. So, I really love being here and I love being part of the family, I love that feeling when everybody comes together.” 

Amy Brooks, RN, Risk Manager in Corporate Compliance at NAH echoed the sentiments of supporters that gathered, “There’s really not words to express the gratitude that I have for my colleagues that are working every day, that care for patients. There are no words. There’s no script. There’s nothing that would do it justice. Thank you for choosing the profession you’ve chosen. Thank you for your dedication, and thank you for your commitment to humanity. We love you. And we’re so grateful for you.” 

Northern Arizona Healthcare is proud to share inspiring stories from across the system and throughout our communities in on our Meeting the Challenge series.

Watch the sidewalk video