By Dillon Thomas

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at historic levels locally and nationally, volunteers in northern Colorado hope their words of affirmation and encouragement will help medical providers through the battle with coronavirus. Employees and volunteers with UCHealth spent their morning, Saturday, using chalk and window paint to spread positivity with those working to stop the spread of the pandemic.

(credit: CBS)

The sidewalks and windows around the entrances to local hospitals like Poudre Valley Hospital (PVH), Medical Center of the Rockies (MCR) and UCHealth Greeley Hospital were covered with messages of appreciation for those helping Coloradans battle the virus.

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“It’s a little thing but it makes a big difference,” said Maryann Fillingim, volunteer coordinator for UCHealth. “What they do day in and day out is incredible.”

With COVID-19 taking up more than 100 hospital beds in UCHealth hospitals in Northern Colorado alone, and 360 in UCHealth hospitals in Colorado, the staff often relies of affirmation to energize them through the day.

“Over the last many months, and weeks, our COVID numbers continue to surge. Our hospitalizations have gone up,” said Ryan Rohman, Vice President and COO of both PVH and MCR. “I think it is fair to say everybody is tired and exhausted with this pandemic battle.”

“They are more anxious than at the start of the pandemic,” Fillingim said.

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Rohman told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the encouragement outside the facilities helps his staff more than many may realize.

(credit: CBS)

“They’ve mentioned to me that they feel supported. And, that is really important right now as we deal with this pandemic,” Rohman said.

This isn’t the first time such an effort has been made. However, many people stopped writing the messages as the pandemic continued well-past infancy. The volunteers said they hoped the new messages would serve a great purpose as cases again rise.

“It is a little gesture. It is a little thing. But when they walk in the building and they see a word of encouragement, it sets a tone for them in that shift. Knowing people care about them, people do support them, people are thinking about them and want them to be safe,” Fillingim said.

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If you would like to send electronic words of encouragement to UCHealth staff, click here.

Dillon Thomas