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The Douglas County Board of Commissioners and staff recognized frontline workers at Wellstar Douglas Hospital for their hard work, sacrifice, and resilience in the battle against COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. The award presentation took place in the main lobby of the hospital as those who attended wore face coverings.
“The effort to show gratitude and appreciation for all their hard work and sacrifice in the battle against COVID-19 had to be conveyed,” Chairman Dr. Romona Jackson Jones said. “On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, we were honored to have members of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff break away for a few moments so we could say thank you for caring for our Douglas County residents.”
Former Wellstar Douglas COVID patients took the opportunity to deliver heartfelt remarks to thank the ICU staff for helping save their lives. Retired Douglas County Sheriff’s Captain Ross Brown who recently returned home after a 7-month battle with COVID and Douglas County Communications Director Rick Martin, who helped coordinate the event, both experienced lengthy hospital stays. Both men required being placed on ventilators while battling the virus. “I went into the hospital here in August of 2020 and finally got out of rehab in March 2021,” Brown said. “I just want to thank everyone here for what you’ve done for me and my family. God was with us all and he brought us through.”
Craig Owens, Sr. Vice President and Hospital Administrator of Wellstar Douglas Hospital, opened the brief ceremony addressing the small intimate crowd. “It’s been a hard year and I just want to say thank you to everybody for supporting our hospital and for supporting each other.” Owens said. “It’s a team and that team extends beyond the walls of the hospital. It extends to our community and our residents and we’ve pulled together to make our way through this.”
Remarks were then followed by Dr. Romona Jackson Jones, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, District 3 Commissioner Tarenia Carthan, District 4 Commissioner Ann Jones Guider and District 1 Commissioner Henry Mitchell, III.
District 1 Commissioner Henry Mitchell III, who served on the Wellstar Douglas Hospital board for many years, offered kudos and called for a round of applause for all the hospital staff efforts for Douglas County residents. “Without you, there were many who didn’t make it, but there are more who did make it because of you,” Mitchell said. “You always kept a positive attitude and I feel confident we all are going to get through this.”
After the event, District 3 Commissioner Tarenia Carthan reflected on the beautiful ceremony that called for celebrating the healthcare workers. “Giving honor and caring for the Caregivers and frontline heroes at WellStar for all their sacrifices is the least we can do,” Commissioner Carthan said.
District 4 Commissioner Ann Jones Guider recalled how her husband was hospitalized during the pandemic for a non COVID health matter and the memorable impression the hospital staff made on her. “I had to stay outside, and I had to let you’ll love on him.” Guider said. “Thank you for your hands and your hearts that reach out to people that just need a loving touch, besides healing.”
After receiving the award presented by the Board of Commissioners, Wellstar Douglas Hospital’s Dr. Ramin Saghafi, Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) made what some described as the most sincere and heartfelt remarks of the ceremony. “This is very humbling. I can’t say enough how much this means to us and to our staff.” Saghafi said. “It cannot be understated how much more we have put on to our staff and how much we had to reach deep.” Saghafi continued. “Many of us have gotten COVID and some of us haven’t made it. But we are here today, and we are continuing to fight.” To a round of applause, Saghafi ended his remarks by saying, “From the bottom of my heart, this means a lot to all of us and honestly goes out to all of our staff, thank you!”
For more information, please contact Rick Martin, Director of Communications & Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org..