Signature events celebrate La Porte Hospital nurses

Signature events celebrate La Porte Hospital nurses

Signature events provided nurses at La Porte Hospital with appreciative reprieve, some blissful calm, delicious food, and multiple blessings as staff across the health system celebrated National Nurses’ Week.

The hands that reach out with care and compassion, The hands that hold other’s hands and hearts, The hands that communicate love and hope, The hands that heal and hold sacred moments, May your hands be blessed.

LPHNursesWeek2Blessing of the Hands was one of the most cherished events during National Nurses’ Week at La Porte and Starke hospitals. Nurses were invited for a short ceremony in the La Porte Hospital Family Chapel, and those who were not able to leave the units were visited by the hospital’s spiritual care director and a volunteer for a quick but meaningful blessing while they worked.

“Like many in healthcare, nurses have a special calling to the ministry of healing. This sense of calling gives meaning and purpose in the care they provide,” said Rev. Raymond Francis, spiritual care director at La Porte Hospital. “In the midst of caring for others, the Blessing of the Hands is a way to remember and affirm the sacred calling of nurses that speaks deeply to the honored nature of their work. Oil was used in ancient times for anointing others as a sign to the community that a person had a special role, calling, or mission. As nurses have chosen to bless others with the work of their hands, we bless their hands in recognition of the sacredness and skillfulness of what they do every day in healing others.”

Spiritual care volunteer DJ Gapsevic, a welcome smile and kind heart throughout the hospital, assisted Francis with the anointing of the hands.

Nurses at the hospital also enjoyed chair massages, breakfasts, and treats delivered to the units throughout their shifts during National Nurses’ Week. The hospital’s executive team donned scrubs and shadowed nurses during “Nurse for a Day.” Ashley Dickinson, CEO; Anetra Jones, CNO; Jeff Vice, COO; and Drew Keesbury, CFO; and Michele Borrowdale O’hern, CQO, visited units and spent time observing the day-to-day operations of the nursing teams.

LPHNursesWeek3“Our mission is to improve the health of our patients and communities and our nurses wholeheartedly share in this mission. I see this personally throughout the organization daily,” Jones said. “Often our nurses go beyond their roles of providing clinical care to also become the coaches and counselors for our patients. La Porte and Starke nurses help coordinate care, provide support and educate our patients to increase and enhance their health and well-being. It is a privilege to recognize them for the commitment and caring they share with our patients and their colleagues every day,” she added.

Another signature program for nurses throughout the year – not just during Nurses’ Week – is IntegriTea. The hospitality service, catered by the Spiritual Care Department, brings hot cups of tea via a mobile tea cart to staff throughout the hospital in their work spaces. “The intent is for this to be a gift to a unit, department, or group. It is simply to let our colleagues know they are appreciated without any hidden agenda,” Francis said. “When I serve the tea it creates a small window of refreshment in the day for our colleagues who are caring for others. In the midst of a day filled with unending demands, it gives a moment for our colleagues to know they are valued. This sense of appreciation is sure to be felt by our patients, as nurses who are refreshed bring that feeling back into the patient room.”

Throughout the year, La Porte and Starke hospitals support nurses with flexible schedules, tuition reimbursement, loan forgiveness programs, educational opportunities, and various recognitions and celebrations including the Daily Award, Colleague of the Quarter, Services Awards, leadership retreats, and other events and programs. For more information about becoming a nurse at La Porte or Starke hospitals, visit