Local businesses honor first Kentucky healthcare workers to care for a COVID-19 patient

Posted at 3:26 PM, May 15, 2020

HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Nurses and doctors smiled with their eyes Friday morning at Harrison Memorial Hospital (HMH) as they received a "thank you" meal for their tireless work throughout the pandemic.

HMH has been called the "ground zero" for the coronavirus in Kentucky as they admitted "patient zero" on March 6.

The Hospital's Chief Nursing Officer, Traci Taylor, RN, explained, "We had nurses work 14 days straight whatever they had to do to help take care of our--all of our patients, not just a potential COVID patient."

Since the beginning of March, the hospital has cared for 18 coronavirus patients. On Friday, though, there were no cases inside the hospital, which on top of it being Hospital Week, called for a celebration.

Harrison County-based Judy Construction partnered with Bluegrass Hospitality to serve 260 meals outside the hospital.

For President of Judy Construction and former Harrison County Memorial Board Member Steve Judy the donation was personal. He said, "Harrison County means a lot to me and my family as does this hospital. These healthcare workers are working day in and day out with COVID patients and we just wanted to say, 'thank you.'"

HMH CEO Shelia Currans, RN, said Judy "knows that really and truly hospital staffs, especially in a community, we know all of our neighbors the patients that come in, could be a relative could be a neighbor, and he as a board member, learned that you know it's a special kind of group. And so, I'm just really thankful that he was willing to do something to thank them today."

As Currans and her staff look to the months ahead, she said they are preparing for a marathon.

"I believe we'll still be in these masks at Christmas. It's, it's not gonna be gone. Our need to check your temperature and make sure you have an appropriate mask if you're in a healthcare setting is going to continue," said Currans. "I want that to continue because we are not where we need to be with this virus. And so, it's part of healthcare. We'll do what we need to do to keep everyone as healthy as we can."

Taylor agreed, "We're going to stay ready at all times and, again, just because we don't have one [a positive case] today doesn't mean we don't have, we couldn't have one tomorrow, and we're just in a constant state of readiness."