The Hamilton area community got the chance March 30 to rally in support of their local heroes – the staff members of Community Memorial Hospital. They came out that evening to join a caravan of fellow well-wishers to drive by the facility honking, shouting, displaying signs and showing support for the CMH staff’s tireless efforts in dealing with the coronavirus.
“Up and down the staff, they are faced with challenges,” caravan organizer Corey Mosher said. “They are very much risking their lives - I know of staff who have tested positive, contracting it while performing their duty. Administration is strapped and is trying to keep the lights on. Elective surgeries have been canceled so budgets have been thrown into limbo as they staff up to address this terrible virus. They are the front line heroes; we just want to let them know we are behind them in any way we can.”
Mosher said the idea came as he saw New York City residents all cheer at the same time in honor of healthcare workers. He was inspired by that, he said, and wanted to show the healthcare workers risking their own lives here that he and his family were grateful. They decided to drive by the hospital cheering for the staff and invited others who wanted to add their own kudos to join the caravan.
He didn’t know how many vehicles might turn out, especially on that rainy day. Mosher said it was a truly great moment for him as car after car showed up at their village green starting point - decorated with signs of gratitude - to come along for that ride.
“My kids shouted out a cheer as each one took their place in line,” Mosher said.
Led by a Hamilton police car, the caravan set out to drive by the hospital. Meanwhile, staff members had heard about the outreach of goodwill and came outside to wave. Another caravan was planned for April 4 as well.
“To say that was meaningful to us would be a vast understatement,” said CMH president and CEO Sean Fadale. “It was absolutely amazing and meant an awful lot to all of us. Very few of us had a dry eye, including myself.”
Video from the event was quite popular on social media, bringing in thousands of views in the first few hours it was up. That attention coupled with the number of people who came out for the caravan prompted Mosher to think of another way to show appreciation for the efforts of all at CMH.
He heard that Fadale and Hamilton town supervisor Eve Ann Swartz had discussed buying a meal for staff from one of the struggling local restaurants. Mosher said he was impressed that the hospital, already facing so much adversity, was also thinking about how they could help their staff and the community. Swartz sent him an email suggesting raising money for that endeavor, so he set up a GoFundMe fundraiser so supporters could make contributions towards the worthy cause.
Mosher extended his personal congratulations to not only CMH but also SOMAC and other ambulance providers, Crouse Hospital, the Oneida Healthcare Center and all community healthcare providers.
“We can’t give each one of you a hug or a handshake right now,” he said. “If we could we would. We just hope to show you the love you deserve. THANK YOU.”
To donate, visit gofundme.com and search for “meals for Hamilton CMH.”