During the month of January, the Americus Rotary Club opted to move to virtual-only meetings to ensure the safety and wellness of its members following the post-holiday surge of COVID cases in the community. With numbers on the rise, Phoebe Sumter Medical Center personnel began to experience flashbacks of last Spring, when the pandemic wreaked havoc on Sumter County.
The hospital was at capacity once again and having to defer patients to other hospitals, some as far away as Florida. Rotarians wanted to ensure those serving on the front lines got some encouragement and something they could enjoy during brief breaks in caring for patients, so money that would have paid for meeting lunches in January was used for snack baskets and meals for multiple departments.
Large baskets full of snacks were delivered to Emergency Services, the Critical Care Unit and Oncology departments of Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. Two weeks later, both shifts of ER and CCU received a meal (lunch for day shift and dinner for night shift) compliments of Americus Rotarians. “We wanted to bless those who exhibit 'Service Above Self' each day they show up to help and heal those who are sick and/or fighting for life,” stated Angela Smith, president of the Rotary Club of Americus.
Mr. Marion Franklin, PDG of District 6910 and now active Americus Rotarian also recognized the commitment to patients, having experienced it first-hand. During the weekly club meeting (in-person) on February 2, PDG Franklin (who had spent nearly a week in the COVID unit), expressed his appreciation for the nursing staff (and one nurse in particular) who ensured he was comfortable, had all that he needed, and who made sure he knew she was “one call button away” if he needed help.
Americus Rotarians were so happy to bless the healthcare heroes who have found themselves fighting against an invisible enemy and going "above and beyond" to stand in the gap for families who aren’t able to be with their loved ones during this time of crisis.