JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In an effort to honor local healthcare workers who spent the past year on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) hosted a parade in Jackson Friday morning.
This week is National Nurses Week, which intersects with National Hospital Week. UMMC celebrated both events to honor its healthcare workers.
Each year, people line the sidewalk outside of the hospital holding signs and thanking healthcare workers as they come in and out during the morning shift change.
This year, police, state troopers, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, Miss Mississippi and other emergency workers drove down State Street waving and cheering on healthcare workers.
Leann Harcharik is the nurse manager and organizer of the celebration. She said after such a dark year, it feels good to be lifted up and supported by the community.
“Last year, we started with UMMC strong, and this year, we say we’re stronger together. We have learned that we’re not just a hospital, but we’re a family, and we support each other, and we pick each other up, and we’re here to support each other no matter what happens. No matter what unit your on, no matter what patients you’re taking care of, we’re all here for one purpose and that’s to take care of the patients of Mississippi,” said Harcharik.
She said although the parade is in the morning, she wants every employee to feel loved and appreciated wherever they are.