‘Come together Tuesday’ invites unity

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital – The Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce is collaborating with the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital to host “Come Together Tuesday” on Aug. 31, an opportunity for members of the community to unite behind the cause of restoring community solidarity by uplifting the front line who serve them.

In order to be as safe as possible, a small ceremony will be held outdoors, on the RRH front lawn, starting at 7 p.m. Tim Smith, executive director of the chamber, will open the event. Tara Packer of The Lighthouse will deliver a prayer. The hospital will be providing water and pre-packaged snacks.

“For the last two years, the staff of our hospital has been operating in nonstop crisis mode — first with the earthquakes, then with the pandemic,” said Tim Smith, executive director of the chamber. “They have supported our community through it all.”

The chamber partnered with the hospital early in the pandemic to help collect and distribute masks, and to honor the fatigued frontline through the “Hospital Heroes” program.

“Now we are in the midst of a season where people have very different perspectives and thought processes about health, but we are still one community. ‘Upon the actions of each depend the fate of us all.’ Even with our diverse views, I hope that we can agree that our hospital is an important resource and we have to find a way to come together to preserve access to local healthcare.”

Smith also reminded members of the community who are unhappy with restrictions that those are not dictated by our local employees, but by state agencies looking to minimize surges. “I get that wearing a mask is not something that everyone wants to do. But please remember that the person at the hospital entrance asking you to wear one should not be the target of your opposition. Being kind is perhaps the first, and most critical, step in coming together.’”

“We are blessed to live and work in such an amazing community,” said Michelle Whalley, RRH Clinic Administrator. “We’ve shouldered past storms; through strength we’ve drawn from each other. We hope you will join us in showing support to our healthcare teams here at RRH. Our nursing and clinical care teams, environmental service, physicians, dietary, laboratory staff. Bring a flameless candle, leave words of encouragement, join us in song to lift them up and give thanks for their important they are doing to care for us.”

Dr. Flanigan, one of Ridgecrest Regional Hospital’s newest physicians, talked about how impressed he has been by the overwhelming support the community has shown for the healthcare workers in Ridgecrest. After a pause, Dr. Flanigan noted while it is incredibly uplifting to be able to see the support of people coming together, he did hope that everyone would remember that if you have any symptoms of infection to consider coming down but staying in your car. For everyone else, he asks that you “please wear your mask and keep social distance norms so that your support for your healthcare workers does not lead to others getting sick.”

Story First Published: 2021-08-27