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Appreciation days a shot in the arm for caregivers

Donna Daniels
Staff Writer

Two local hospitals, Valley View in Glenwood Springs, and Clagett in Rifle, are celebrating health care professionals this week and next.

This week Valley View focuses on its nurses. The theme of this year’s celebration is “take care of yourself,” said chief clinical officer Deb Wiepking.

“We as nurses don’t take care of ourselves. We take care of family and husbands and children and patients,” Wiepking said.

To that end, the administration set up a fair of sorts in the lobby of the hospital, complete with booths featuring the history of nursing, and pictures of all the nurses in their respective departments.

Specialty baskets filled with wine, coffee, garden tools and outdoor items are being raffled off in a silent auction. There are also gift certificates to the Yampah Day Spa and Vapor Caves, a weekend in Ouray and for restaurants around the valley.

Proceeds from the auction will go for nursing scholarships or continuing education, Wiepking said.

Nursing directors and Wiepking are giving the nurses hand massages all week in the hospital lobby, including those working the night shift.

Nurses also had a chance to get a seated massage in hospital CEO Gary Brewer’s chair.

And Chaplain Patty Harris offered a Blessing of the Hands.

“We’ve lost several nurses who passed away,” Wiepking said. “So this was in memory of them. Patty blesses our hands because we take care of people.”

Harris’ blessing reads in part: “Bless our hands that care for so many people, touching with tenderness the pain of their bodies, minds and spirits.”

Throughout the week there will also be musical entertainment, including a barbershop quartet, an a cappella gospel group and different instrumentalists.

Clagett celebrates

next week

At Grand River Hospital District’s Clagett Hospital, the festivities for all health care givers take place next week. Among those being honored are nurses, lab technicians and radiologists, said hospital district spokeswoman Kris Swanson.

Monday the hospital administration will serve banana splits to workers. On Tuesday, the departments will host a progressive potluck luncheon, followed by wheelchair races, Swanson said.

Wednesday is Wild West Day at Clagett. Anyone who dresses the part will get a free lunch that day. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders will appear, and the Garfield County Regulators will stage a gunfight. And Rifle’s Larry Glenn will read his cowboy poetry.

That night the hospital district will treat the caregivers and their families to a rodeo at the Garfield County Fairgrounds.

Thursday is a safety fair for all employees, Swanson said. They’ll get their annual TB shots, and learn about infection control and fire safety.

The festivities end Friday with an employee appreciation barbecue and an auction of hospital district CEO Patrick Howery. The highest bidder will get four hours of Howery’s toil in their department, Swanson said.


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