Community Hospital plants tree to honor pandemic front liners and patients

TORRINGTON – Healthcare professionals gathered in front of the Medical Office Building Tuesday for a ceremony honoring their peers and patients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Community Hospital CEO Zach Miller addressed the crowd mentioning the many obstacles faced in the last 26 months. 

“We faced supply chain shortages, mask shortages, medication back orders, the very basic items that we relied on to care for our patients centered in short supply. We saw staff struggle with the emotional toll of long days of PPE, the fear of what this disease would do if they took it home to their family. They also saw many of their friends and family members succumb. This burden has been immensely heavy, and one that has only been borne by the team that surrounds us,” Miller said. “Further our team who were seen just months ago as heroes, were suddenly seen as villains. People pushing others receive a vaccine that was unwanted caregivers that were now thought to be continuing to perpetuate a pandemic that everyone just desperately wanted to end.”

Miller also mentioned the advancements seen in the medical field including the use of telemedicine, new medical technologies and a shifting landscape. 

Community Hospital cared for over 700 COVID positive patients in the ER and many more in the clinic. 

“It is in honor of the care you provided the compassion that you have shown, the successes seen by our patients as they recover, and in recognition of those that lost their life that we plant this tree today,” Miller said. “It is my sincere prayer that its roots may run deep as the care and compassion that you have. That is trunk may be as sturdy as our team that has supported our community throughout the pandemic, that its branches may produce beautiful foliage that change with the seasons as our community does, recognizing that there’s a season for everything.”

Miller closed in mentioning the immense amount of gratitude he holds for others on the frontlines right along with Community Hospital employees including public health officials, school nurses and teachers. “[They] were all right there along the front lines right with us, navigating waters that were really rough at times.”


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