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UPMC Pinnacle celebrating their nurses for National Nurses Day

They are recognized for their hard, life-saving work year-round. National Nurses Day, however, has a whole new meaning amid the pandemic.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The UPMC Pinnacle Foundation is helping boost morale by planning events to honor their nurses.

They are recognized for their hard, life-saving work year-round. National Nurses Day, however, has a whole new meaning amid the pandemic. 

Our front line heroes continue to make a difference helping their patients get better every day, but this past year hasn't been easy. 

“We are going to use Nurses Week as an opportunity to thank and recognize them for all of the hard work and quality care that they’ve given to patients and their families," Sandy Winston The Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services at UPMC Community Osteopathic said.

Winston has been a nurse for almost 40 years. She's also working behind the scenes, planning fun events, and morale boosters for their roughly 300 nurses. 

“We’ll have a photo booth where they can come in and take silly photos, we’re having ten minute massages to help them relax, and even a baby goat petting zoo," Winston said.

The Susquehanna Service Dogs also paid a visit to the nurses to help them de-stress and spread some puppy love.

Through all the ups and downs, and everything in between -- it's our turn to celebrate them and say thank you. 

“First of all, just thank a healthcare worker, a nurse, and do any small act of kindness to just let them know that they’re being thought about," Winston said.

Caring for our friends and our families, the job is challenging -- but they continue to be resilient. 

“Really the word that comes to mind is the resilience of the nurses, they’ve had to adjust... change how they think, and what they do and how we’ve done it and they’ve just met every single challenge with such passion. I can’t tell you how proud I am of them," Winston said.

Let's face it, not all heroes wear capes -- some wear scrubs.

Winston said nurses impact patients and their families every day and that the pandemic was a learning opportunity. She said nurses have learned from it but it's also something nurses do all the time and they take it in stride. 

If you'd like to send a thank you card to a UPMC nurse, you can mail them to any of their locations, or to the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation and they'll make sure they get to the proper destination. 

The foundation is also working on a year of gratitude campaign. You can recognize caregivers who've shown exceptional care. To do so, share your story with the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation here

The campaign is a great way to recognize and empower nurses year-round. 

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