Lights On event will thank health care workers.

November 22, 2021

MCP File Photo

Lights On event will thank health care workers.

LUDINGTON — Area law enforcement, fire departments, and emergency medical services are holding a Lights On celebration of gratitude for hospital workers at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at 6 p.m. Families and members of the community are invited to participate and display messages of thanks, as well as engage in the parking lot horn-honking and flashing of vehicle lights. The event will take place in the south parking lot of the hospital with people encouraged to remain in their cars for safety.

Vehicles are invited to arrive between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Just prior to the 6 p.m. start, Henrik Lidman, pastor of Prayer and Praise Assembly of God and Mason County Sheriff’s Office chaplain, will provide a blessing for all hospital workers.

“The public safety community recognizes challenges the health care community faces daily,” said event organizer Ludington Police Chief Tim Kozal. “Rising COVID numbers, patients and family members frustrated with longer than normal waits, and staffing shortages put tremendous strain physically and mentally on our nurses, doctors, receptionists and technicians. Small moments like the Lights On celebration illustrate how not only the public safety community, but the Mason County community as a whole, truly appreciates what team members in the health care system do for all of us, patiently and with care, each and every day.”

“I’d like to thank Tim Kozal, Ludington police chief, for organizing this event for our hospital team and all of the participating emergency services agencies,” said Drew Dostal, president of Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and Northwest region market leader. “We are nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and experiencing the longest sustained surge of COVID-19 patients yet. It has been tough on our teams and especially our frontline workers. Our teams are dealing with challenges at work, but also dealing with challenges at home and—for those with children at home—at school or with daycare. This has been a long and tiring effort. To have the community’s support means a lot to our team members.”

Throughout the month of November, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital has participated in a month of gratitude events and celebrations as part of Spectrum Health’s Grateful Giving campaign focusing on team member support. “We have really tried to utilize this month of Thanksgiving to communicate to our teams how valued they are, how much everyone appreciates their hard work, and just to recognize the extra effort in this latest COVID-19 surge where we have high census, our highest numbers of COVID-19 patients, and patients that are very sick,” said Kaley Petersen, director of foundation and community services at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. “We appreciate our emergency agency partners and especially want to thank Ludington police chief, Tim Kozal, for organizing this event for our teams and Reverend Lidman of Prayer and Praise Assembly for offering a blessing.”

Meleah Mariani, chief nursing officer at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital, said the show of support is a boost to frontline hospital workers. “These expressions of community support just really mean a lot to our teams, who have been working steadfast throughout the pandemic in a sea of challenges. The current surge has been our most difficult to date because it is ongoing and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, so this comes at a really good time. We want the community to know that we are here for them, and to have the community show their support back to us, it just really means a lot.”

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