Health care workers around the state and nation continue to put themselves at risk to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Rapid City, community members held a drive by car caravan to thank Indian Health Service employees.
People honk horns, wave out car windows and hold up signs thanking essential employees. Health care workers line the sidewalks and wave back, their eyes grinning behind their face masks.
Richie Richards organized the event.
“We just wanted to find a way to thank and honor our friends and relatives who are working up here on the Sioux San Campus including the IHS, the Oyate Health Center employees and everyone else that has a job up here.”
Richards says healthcare can be especially stressful right now since people still have to show up to take care of medical issues not related to the pandemic. He decided the busy employees needed a morale boost and 30 cars showed up.
“And a good rally like this and showing support for them, it’s going to lift them up, lift their spirits up and give them that little extra motivation to come and show up like they do on a daily basis.”
Jerilyn Church is the President of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board and Oyate Health Center on the Sioux San Campus.
“Our job as administration is to give our frontline workers the support and the resources they need to stay safe and to feel supported because they’re providing that to the community and they need that.”
The Sioux San Campus is taking steps to direct patients showing potential symptoms of COVID-19 to designated areas to prevent spreading it.