HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)– During the pandemic, we’ve seen countless images of healthcare workers on the frontlines. A new employee recognition wall at UCHealth Highlands Ranch shows the COVID-19 warriors in a different light.
“Thank you for your hard work and taking such good care of our patients,” said Diane Cookson, President and CEO of UCHealth Highlands Ranch.READ MORE: 3 Dead In Olde Town Arvada Shooting, Including 1 Arvada Police Officer, Suspect
On Monday, she addressed a gathering to celebrate a new wall of recognition. It honors 10 hospital employees at the forefront during the pandemic, but these new photos show another side of them.
“They’re people beyond just the work that they do,” said Heidi Wagner, a freelance photographer who volunteered to highlight everyday heroes at the hospital nominated by their leaders.
“To give back to people that are sacrificing so much,” Heidi said.
Among those honored is Katie Starr, an ICU RN.
“In every shift, she goes above and beyond,” said Cookson.
Katie’s shifts have sometimes been 7 days in a row, sometimes 16 hours long. Caring for COVID patients in the ICU has been exhausting.READ MORE: Smoke From Burning Boat On Cherry Creek Reservoir Seen For Miles
“It is sad, it is chaotic, it is encouraging,” she said. “Massive ups and downs. It is never an easy moment to say, ‘OK I hear you and it’s time to let go.’”
During time away from work, Katie sketches and paints. She is painting in the photo on the hospital wall.
“Art, I always say, feeds the soul,” explained Katie. “It brings me joy; it brings me peace.”
Katie said being recognized for her dedication is an honor and she appreciates being shown beyond her profession.
“Me… not just the mask, not just the scrubs,” she said.
Cookson said the wall is a reminder, “We just have to remember about the extraordinary people that we work with every day.”MORE NEWS: 'NOT Your Toilet': Man Caught Dumping Human Waste In Stream In Clear Creek County
The everyday heroes will change annually, but the photos will be a permanent display of appreciation.