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DeKalb County healthcare workers celebrated by parade

Lisa Anderson does not think that nurses and health care workers get enough credit for their jobs.

Anderson is a nurse and care transition coordinator with Heartland Hospice.

“We don’t get enough credit, especially at nursing homes, and especially now, during the pandemic,” she said. “Healthcare workers do such an amazing job.”

To thank other healthcare workers and show her appreciation, Anderson and Meghan Wilinski, senior account liaison with Heartland Hospice, participated in the DeKalb County Healthcare Worker Appreciation Parade on Wednesday.

The parade route included Pine Acres Rehab & Living Center, Barb City Manor, DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center, Oak Crest – DeKalb Area Retirement Center, Bethany Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, all in DeKalb, and Kindred Hospital and Lincolnshire Place in Sycamore.

The drive-by parade, organized by Kishwaukee College Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society members, honored and celebrated health care workers from DeKalb and Sycamore hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and senior living.

The DeKalb County Healthcare Worker Appreciation Parade began at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb and traveled throughout DeKalb and Sycamore.

Ashley Foltz, a nursing student at Kishwaukee College in Malta and president of the Nursing Honor Society, had the idea of starting a health care worker appreciate parade in DeKalb County after participating in a similar parade in Rochelle.

Foltz said she was surprised that about 20 cars participated in the parade, as well as about 20 vehicles from Lovett’s Towing, based in DeKalb.

“If only one person or one car showed up, it would have been worth it to show love and support to our local health care workers,” she said.

Foltz wanted to express her apologies to the facilities for the parade running slightly ahead of schedule.

“Some were 5 minutes ahead and our last location was ahead of schedule by almost 20 minutes,” she said. “We had added a few locations, and I was afraid we would actually be running behind schedule, when in fact we actually were running ahead of schedule.”

Still, Foltz said she was “overwhelmed by the support of the community” and the participation in the parade. She plans on making the parade an annual event.

“We wanted to send a huge thank you to not only the Sycamore police officer that joined us for the entire parade, but also Lovett’s Towing,” Foltz said. “They showed up with what looked to be their entire fleet, and it warmed my heart to see everyone that showed up from the community.”

Wilinski said that participating in the parade was “one of the simplest things we could do, but the right thing to do.”

“It’s an easy way to show our appreciation and gratitude for all they do,” she said. “Thanking health care workers is something people do often, but we can never do it often enough. It’s important to come together as a community and support the healthcare workers because they truly are frontline heroes.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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