Southcoast Health honors coronavirus victims, survivors

Jun 13, 2020

Southcoast Health hosted concurrent events on Thursday, June 11 at the system’s three hospitals – Charlton Memorial, St. Luke’s and Tobey – to honor those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus and to celebrate those who have survived it. 

The service for “remembrance, support and renewal of strength”  recognized the dedication and sacrifice of nurses, physicians and providers, clinical staff, support services and all employees who have worked on the front lines and behind the scenes during Southcoast’s response to the pandemic, officials said. 

The events took place outdoors, allowing participants to practice social distancing. Participants began with a moment of silence and featured brief readings by chaplains and bereavement staff from the Southcoast Visiting Nurse Association’s Supportive Care Team. 

The moment of silence was streamed across each hospital’s sound system for those inside the hospital to observe as a time of reflection and unity, said Chief Nursing Officer Jacqueline Somerville, RN, Ph.D. Volunteers distributed sea glass from beaches in the region as a symbol of renewal and healing, followed by music and meditation. 

“This was an opportunity for us to come together as a community, acknowledging the suffering and loss, as well as the courage and resilience we have witnessed,” Somerville said. “This country and our world are in deep pain right now, and today was about finding a path forward to a healthy future for every human being.” 

Somerville said that upwards of 200 employees participated in the events across the three hospitals.

Later at noon, Southcoast Health employees held a moment of silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds to honor Black, Indigenous and People of Color whose lives have been taken by systemic racism and targeted violence.