by Chynna Lockett
Rapid City, South Dakota community members held a drive-by car caravan to thank Indian Health Service employees for their work during COVID-19. People honked horns, waved out car windows and held signs thanking essential employees. Health care workers lined the sidewalks and waved back, their eyes grinning behind their face masks.
“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,” said Richie Richards, who organized the event.
Richards said 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,” Richards said
The gesture was appreciated.
“Our job as administration is to give our front line 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,” said Jerilyn Church, president of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board and Oyate Health Center on the Sioux San Campus.
Sioux San is taking steps to direct patients showing potential symptoms of COVID-19 to designated areas to prevent spreading it.