No one has felt the stress of the pandemic more than frontline health care workers. As we begin to see the end of the pandemic, the concern now is for them.
For the past year, healthcare workers have been so focused on the health of the patients, keeping family and loved ones safe, and not getting sick themselves.
With $75,000, OG&E set out to three local hospitals to help with the mental challenges the health care workers will now face.
“We thought about how much our frontline health care workers have been through the last year and how they have just been heroes; stepping up every day to help us through this, so we reached out to our friends in the hospital foundations and said, 'hey, we would like to provide some support for mental health resources for our frontline health care workers,'” OG&E's Gayle Maxwell said.
Mercy, Integris and SSM are all recipients of the funds.
“The funds from OG&E are going to go to support existing programs so we look to give food additional housing support, clothes, childcare,” Allie Friesen with Integris said.
The funds will also support programs through the hospital such as counselors and chaplains.
Larry Phillips with SSM said this will support their lavender cart program.
“We put on this lavender cart, cards of thanks from the community, EAP referral cards, prayer cards, also attritional things like snacks, and candy bars, sometimes fruit, and drinks and those kinds of things,” Phillips said.
“We’re looking at all different programs, some of the big ones we want to start with is pet therapy that’s one our health care workers have really enjoyed. Having a counselor on-site that our coworkers can go see and visit with privately," Emily Eriksson with Mercy said.
All three hospitals said the funds could not have come at a better time, because as the country comes out of the pandemic, health care workers now shift their focus to real-life and try to somehow process their own trauma.