Jackie Tischler

During the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors, nurses and other frontline practitioners who provide direct care to patients have been recognized and praised as “Hometown Heroes” — and rightfully so. But, in addition to these caregivers — behind the scenes in our local hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities — are countless employees who are essential to the care and safety of our patients, their families and our community. And although they might not find themselves in the spotlight, their roles are recognized as the backbone of patient care. 

Who are these unsung essential health care workers who courageously serve our communities during these uncertain times? 

Their contributions include housekeeping, food service, patient care support, security, home health care, administration, and dozens of other essential health care positions.  They work alongside doctors and nurses in providing direct and indirect support of those in need of care. 

These hardworking unsung heroes keep our health care facilities clean, our patients well fed and cared for, our facilities staffed effectively, and our operations running smoothly and efficiently. They work with pride and dedication, with a smile behind their masks. 

To each and every one of you, we owe a huge THANK YOU! We are proud of your strength and courage. And we realize that during these difficult times, your work has never been more important to health care providers in the St. Louis metropolitan area. While weathering the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve put the health and safety of patients above all else.

You, too, are our “Hometown Heroes.”

Thank you also to the unsung essential workers in other fields and industries throughout our region. Thank you to those who stock our grocery shelves, pick up our trash and recyclables, transport our goods, deliver our food, and maintain our buildings and roads.

To all of you who put yourselves at risk to provide for the well-being of our community, we extend our deepest gratitude.

Jackie Tischler is senior vice president and chief people officer at BJC HealthCare.

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