Commentary: Nanticoke Memorial thanks the community

By Penny Short

In early March, the coronavirus reached our community. At Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, we were fortunate to have time to plan and be prepared. But, as the number of patients admitted to the hospital rose to nearly 50, our team had to stretch in new ways to meet the challenge. It was exhausting, but it was important work and we were able to successfully meet the needs of our community.

Penny Short

While we were able to help many of our COVID-19 patients return to health – some of which took not days but weeks to recover – we also have to acknowledge the lives lost to this disease. Our staff celebrated with those who recovered and cried with the families of those we lost. As you can imagine, this takes a toll on us all. But again, our team rose to the challenge. We have always been and continue to be honored to be able to serve this community.

Along the way, we received an enormous amount of support from area residents. We received hundreds of handmade masks, surgical caps and gowns sewn by individuals and groups including Union United Methodist Church, the Heritage Shores Quilting Club, the Seaford Lioness Club and the Delaware 50+ Sewing Group.

Our team was fueled by endless meals provided from community organizations such as the Seaford Lions Club and private businesses, such as Delmar Pizza, Little Caesars Pizza and many, many, many others. We received discounts at community businesses and gift cards from David Horsey & Sons Inc., Trinity, RE/MAX and others to help our staff feed their families, giving them one less thing to worry about.

We received gifts of appreciation, including personal care items to help with those long days of wearing masks, and signs were put up to show support. We received lots of donations for our Sunshine Cart, providing small gifts and snacks to teams working long hours.

And we can’t forget the wonderful tribute from our local police, fire and Emergency Medical Service groups as they gathered to parade by the hospital. I would need pages and pages to thank everyone who reached out to show they cared. As I think about all the arms that wrapped around our organization, I often get tears of joy.

Each of these very important signs of love provided our team with the lift they needed to carry them through. Nanticoke has always viewed our community as our family. It was an overwhelming feeling to see that our community feels the same about Nanticoke.

From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of each and every person working for Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and for the Nanticoke Physician Network, I want to say thank you. You will never know just how very important this was to us. We always want to be there for you when you need us most. Thank you for being there for us when we needed you most.

Penny Short, MSM, BSN, RN, is Senior vice president, Peninsula Regional Health System, and President of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital