5W Team at Infirmary Recognized as Service Heroes

The team of nurses on 5West at the Infirmary were recognized as Service Heroes for the displaying the value of EXCELLENCE.

Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic, 5West was designated as a dedicated Intensive Care Unit to meet the needs of infected patients who became critically ill.

An inspiring and dedicated group of professionals stepped forward and agreed to take on this task, even though at the time we knew very little about the transmission process of the disease, our supply of PPE was limited, and there was a huge amount of anxiety and fear about COVID both in the general population and among healthcare workers.

Over the past nine months, this team has cared for more than 200 of Arkansas’ sickest COVID-19 victims, adapting their care techniques as our knowledge evolved, and learning new ways of delivering comfort and compassion to both patients and their family members who were not allowed to visit.

Just as importantly, this group cared for each other as well, acting always as a team and looking out for one another. Nurses, Hospitalists, Intensivists, Specialists, Respiratory therapists, pharmacists, EVS, transport, security, facilities and others were all participants in this diverse team, along with their leaders Michelle Wilhite and Stacy LeMieux Pinkett, and we honor them all. Their work will not soon be forgotten.

Likewise, whenever we give a Service Hero Award, we choose an individual to honor but there are often others in the background who also participated in or facilitated the act of kindness and selflessness we are celebrating. In that sense, I hope that the 5W team will deservedly accept this Service Hero Award not only on behalf of themselves, but also on behalf of the entire Infirmary team, whose bravery and commitment to our Ministry and our patients have sustained us through these many trying months, and who will continue to lead us forward in the future.