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Staff members at Frankfort Regional Medical Center wear T-shirts they were given as part of National Hospital Week earlier this month. (Photo submitted)

Frankfort Regional Medical Center celebrated National Hospital Week last week but in a little different fashion.

Out of respect for the coronavirus pandemic, changes were made due to social distancing guidelines and other protocols and precautions.

The hospital staff was honored with a special day Monday through Friday last week, including each staff member receiving a T-shirt on Wednesday.

“We really wanted this to be a meaningful week due to the sacrifices our staff have made during these last 10 weeks,” said Reed Hammond, chief executive officer.

“The T-shirt symbolizes the unity among our workforce so when we wear it, it serves as a visual reminder of what we’ve endured together. We’re all in this together working towards a common mission — the care and improvement of human life.”

Hammond provided the T-shirts for the staff.

“I wanted to show the staff how much I appreciate everything they’re doing,” he said, “the courage and bravery they show every day coming into the hospital when everyone else is being asked to stay home.

“It has a Kentucky design with a heart over Frankfort. It shows where their heart is and the passion they have for this facility.”

For the rest of the week, staff members received cloth masks on Monday to use at their homes, they were served doughnuts on Tuesday and given chocolates on Thursday, and Friday was T-shirt and jeans day.

“I hope every time they put it (T-shirt) on, they’ll remember the 10 weeks we’ve traveled together and the challenges we still face ahead,” Hammond said.

The facility has taken several steps to keep patients and clinical teams safe.

They include screening processes in place for all patients, visitors and clinicians before entering facilities, separate care locations for COVID-19 patients and those under investigation, with non-COVID-19 patients being treated in separate areas and assigned caregivers who are not also caring for COVID-19 positive patients, universal masking required throughout the facilities, the removal of high-touch items such as magazines, toys and vending machines from the facilities, and food and drink being prohibited in clinical units to prevent the spread of illness.

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