June 15, 2020
At St. Peter’s Health, we are cautiously optimistic as Montana begins to reopen and people resume more of their daily activities. For the past month we’ve been working through a phased reopening of our facilities and services, and I’m happy to share that we are almost back to 100% of normal operations. Many restrictions and safety precautions will continue to remain in place out of an abundance of caution, as we monitor virus activity around us and keep our focus on the safety of our patients and caregivers.
It’s easy to become discouraged by the stress, anxiety and massive hardships COVID-19 has caused, but we don’t want to overlook the many things we learned or the amazing heroes that shined so brightly throughout this experience. This community came together to support one another in a way many of us haven’t had the opportunity to experience. We are beyond humbled by the generosity and love you have shown our caregivers, and it only fuels our drive to become the gold standard health system this community wants and deserves!
I couldn’t even begin to thank every person or business who helped us get through this and cared for our team members. Your kind words and donations of time, materials, food and dollars were not only generous and appreciated, they helped save lives and gave us hope.
As hospitals across the nation faced unprecedented shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), you went to your supply closets and workbenches and donated or constructed N95 masks and other PPE.
Talented sewists from around the community banded together and purchased supplies to sew over 3,000 cloth masks for our team members and visitors to wear, and over 200 lap blankets to wrap love around hospitalized patients unable to have visitors.
Local restaurants, bakeries, organizations, individuals and coffeehouses donated food and beverages to nourish our caregivers, often the brightest spot of their day while working long shifts as friends, family and neighbors sheltered at home.
Local business owners donated thoughtful care packages, homemade hand sanitizer and hand lotion to comfort and protect our team.
Donations to the St. Peter’s Health Foundation flowed in from around the community, enabling us to help even more patients with unexpected and uncovered medical expenses.
Helena howled. It’s hard to describe the emotion and pride we felt as we listened to those howls, opening our windows and stepping outside at 8 pm just to hear and feel that love and support.
Thank you to everyone who checked in on a neighbor or friend. Thank you to those who left kind messages for caregivers. Thank you for doing your part to stay home and flatten the COVID-19 curve. Thank you for continuing to be thoughtful and vigilant so we can keep the virus at bay and our community healthy.
Taking care of others is why we exist. But during this time, our community reciprocated by taking care of us in the most inspirational and compassionate ways.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
Wade Johnson is the CEO of St. Peter’s Health in Helena.