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150-pound Zimbabwe-made statue unveiled to honor sacrifices nurses have made at MercyOne North Iowa during pandemic

MASON CITY — MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center held a ceremony on Monday afternoon that honored the sacrifices nurses have made during the COVID-19 pandemic and unveiled a 150-pound statue made in Zimbabwe to remind everyone of the heroic efforts displayed within the hospital.

MercyOne president Rod Schlader says the hospital wanted to take some time to commemorate the hard work that was shown by everyone in the community during the last 14 months.   “I can tell you our community support was just very overwhelming during this period of time. All those who donated food and items to help us through this, and our colleagues that showed very great resilience through this difficult time. So grateful for all of you in the community that dedicated tireless efforts to care for those impacted by the coronavirus. Through your efforts, we have successfully discharged over 1000 patients infected by the virus this past year, I think that’s a huge accomplishment.”

MercyOne chief nursing officer Kim Chamberlin says she’s been a nurse for over 40 years and the last 14 months have been the most difficult time of her and others nursing career. Chamberlin says the senior leadership team wanted to commemorate this year with a special gift for their colleagues and the community with the “Healer’s Touch” statue, which is hand carved by the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe.  “These sculptures are specially meaningful because of the profound respect the Shona people pay their traditional healers. Shona healers are affectionately regarded as treasures by those they care for and the well-being and safety of the healer is of community-wide importance. This describes exactly how we feel about our colleagues and how our community showed up for them during this past year.”

This is “National Nurses Week” and “National Hospital Week”.



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