For Courtney Lambert, MSN, RN, NE-BC, director of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital Emergency Services, the countless expressions of gratitude from community members have helped her and her team get through tough times. She recalls one elderly gentleman who sat outside the hospital in a lawn chair for several days, greeting staff with signs expressing sentiments such as, “You’re my heroes” and “Thank you for all you do.”
The Independence Retirement Community held a parade in the hospital parking lot, during which residents drove by in decorated cars. Lambert recalls one resident, a retired nurse, who rode through in a convertible Volkswagen Beetle full of balloons.
“They were tooting their horns and clapping and yelling, so it was really a lot of fun,” she remembers.
Community members also sent more than 100 encouraging messages through the Foundation’s online portal, posted signs around the campus and even played music at the hospital entrance. Children from several area counties sent in drawings and messages of hope and thanks.
“The Sentara Martha Jefferson Caring Tradition, our hallmark of care, is not a one-way street—we’ve really seen that during the COVID-19 pandemic response,” Lambert says. “We’ve always focused on providing quality care to the community, and over the past few months the community has shown that they really care about us, too. The people in Charlottesville and beyond have offered acts of kindness that remind us why we do what we do.”