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September 10, 2021 Inspired Stories

5 Ways You Can Support Our Local Heroes Right Now

nurse standing in hallway wearing ppe gear

They didn’t ask for the title, but they’ve earned it:

Heroes.

While many of us watched the world slow down and scale back for the past 18 months, health care and emergency personnel experienced the opposite. More than ever before, they have been answering the call to keep our communities healthy and safe.

As COVID-19 cases again rise across the country, health care workers and emergency response teams are reaching a breaking point and need our help. Here are five simple ways we can all step up to support our local heroes.

1. Head to the Ballpark

How about one more trip to the ballpark while the weather is still nice? The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are hosting Local Heroes Day at the Fox Cities Stadium today Saturday, September 11 as part of the final week of their 2021 season, and you can be a part of it.

On a day we honor and remember the heroic efforts of those who responded 20 years ago to the tragedy on 9/11, it is fitting that we should also recognize the selfless service of our own, local heroes.

The game kicks off at 1:05 p.m. CST and will honor frontline heroes throughout the Fox Cities, featuring:

  • A ThedaStar 35th anniversary celebration with the medical transport helicopter and team on site (scheduled to arrive around 11:00 a.m.)
  • Specialty red, white and blue jerseys worn by the players (to be auctioned off following the game with proceeds benefitting local veteran, police, fire and EMT services)
  • Fire and police vehicles on site for viewing

This is a great opportunity for the community to safely gather together in recognition of those who work selflessly to support us. Tickets are still available, so bring the family and help make this a day to remember.

2. Do Your Homework

As new variants emerge and safety recommendations continue to evolve, we must all do our part to stay apprised of – and follow – the latest guidelines. Minimizing the spread of the virus remains our top priority, and with just over half the population fully vaccinated, it’s critical that we continue following basic infection prevention protocols:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Wear a mask if in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated
  • Keep your distance from others
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Monitor your health and get tested if you develop COVID-19 symptoms
  • Get vaccinated

For the latest on vaccinations, testing, virtual care options and more, visit ThedaCareCovid19.org.

3. Roll Up Your Sleeve

While there is no cure for COVID-19, there is a way to minimize the spread, reduce hospitalizations and prevent death from the virus – the COVID-19 vaccine. By receiving the vaccine, we can minimize the potential to experience severe COVID-19 symptoms and thereby reduce the burden on health care workers who would have otherwise been responsible for our care.

Regardless of your choice to get vaccinated for COVID-19, all are encouraged to receive their annual flu shot. Doing so can help minimize the chance of having two respiratory outbreaks circulating simultaneously in our populations, and in turn, avoid capacity concerns at hospitals already pushed to the limits with COVID-19 patients.

For your convenience, vaccines are available for you at your regularly scheduled appointment or through our vaccine clinics. ThedaCare is also offering the option to receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccinations with just one appointment at the following locations:

Schedule your appointment today:

4. Donate Blood & Plasma

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. With several blood drives cancelled last year, there continues to be an urgent need for all blood types. Blood donations are essential to treating many life-threatening emergencies and diseases, and its up to all of us to make sure there is a reliable blood supply available.

Additionally, as COVID-19 infection rates rise nationally and locally, those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months are encouraged to donate convalescent plasma. COVID-19 convalescent plasma has been attributed to saving more than 100,000 lives and decreasing the mortality rate for those suffering from COVID-19 by about 50%.

By offering just a fraction of your time, you could provide the gift of life to someone in need. Visit The Community Blood Center website to learn more and schedule your donation.

5. Put Your Appreciation Into Words

Increased hospitalizations and demand for care have resulted long hours, extra shifts and significant stress for many health care workers. Despite being equipped with the technology, skills and knowledge to take on another COVID-19 surge, care teams are struggling to find the mental and emotional strength to keep going.

Whether you’ve visited a ThedaCare location for preventive screenings, routine services or COVID-19 care, you’ve likely come into contact with a team member who was experiencing physical, mental or emotional exhaustion, but still provided the compassionate, outstanding care you’ve come to expect.

Take a moment to express your gratitude to our health care heroes at ThankYouThedaCare.org. Your words have meaning – please consider using them to encourage and thank health care workers as they persevere through another COVID-19 surge.

Looking for more ways to support local heroes through the pandemic? A donation to the ThedaCare Family of Foundations can help us expand programs, participate in innovative research and invest in state-of-the-art tools, just to name a few.

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