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SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee Leads the Way to Well-Being during COVID-19

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

For more than 50 years, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital–Shawnee has served the health needs of Pottawatomie County and the surrounding region. Despite the unique challenges presented in caring for those impacted by the coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee remains committed to its mission, "Through our exceptional health care services, we reveal the healing presence of God", in support of the health and well-being of this community.

As a Blue Zones Project Approved worksite, St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee has also made the well-being of its employees a priority as they work to keep the community safe during the pandemic. Despite the challenging circumstances, St. Anthony Hospital - Shawnee has implemented a number of new programs and initiatives to support its team members as they perform critical services.

First, and most importantly, St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee is proactively keeping staff informed and engaged. The COVID-19 situation is continually changing, and hospital leadership is striving to ensure employees are kept up-to-date with the latest developments. St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee leaders are also checking in each day with staff and asking how they can best support them.

In creating a supportive physical environment, St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee has posted signs and banners recognizing employees as “Heroes in Action”. Employees have also received new Heroes in Action badge cards that feature an inspirational quote on the back. For Easter, the hospital distributed bookmarks to staff featuring a prayer. A SSM Health “Health Heroes Work Here” Facebook frame has also been created for use by employees.

The hospital has also designated a dedicated space as a “Rest and Relaxation Room” where staff can enjoy time to recharge in solitude. Even a few minutes of calm and tranquility can serve as an effective balance to the often hectic and fast-paced hospital environment.

Making the healthier choice the easier choice is a key tenet of Blue Zones Project, and St. Anthony Hospital - Shawnee has introduced a convenient new “Groceries to Go” service in the hospital café, featuring a selection of healthy grocery items that employees can purchase at a reduced price.

Residents of the greater Pottawatomie County region have also provided critical support. The hospital has requested cards, prayers, letters and pictures for staff, and is posting these words of encouragement in the main lobby so staff can read the kind words and positive thoughts as they come and go.

Many in the community have also donated food and personal care items for distribution to staff. Donations have been shared via an “Employee Care Cart,” consisting of a decorated cart supplied with donated snacks and care items.

St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee has worked with local community partners to identify a list of potential childcare options for its team, one of which is the Shawnee Family YMCA, another Blue Zones Project Approved worksite that is offering free childcare to first responders and reduced cost childcare to other essential workers.

“During this crisis time its been interesting to see our Blue Zones Power 9 focus areas shift slightly,” Angi Mohr, President, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee, said. “I have seen an incredible outpouring of love, acceptance and patience for one another, in our building and from our wonderful community of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Our hospital team refers to ourselves as a work family, and during these past weeks we have spent more time with one another than we have at our homes. It is evident that we are committed to the well-being of one another and our community and we find ourselves leaning on and supporting each other even more than we usually do”

“The core purpose of a health care provider is likely to have deep meaning, and that purpose becomes even more evident and incredibly powerful during a health care crisis,” she said. “Lastly, working in a faith-based ministry has always been important to me and it has been a key motivator in keeping many of us going during these uncertain times.”

These are just some examples of the actions St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee is taking to ensure the well-being of its staff is enhanced. The support shown by the community is also essential and will remain an ongoing need for the immediate future.

For more information on how to support St. Anthony Hospital-Shawnee employees, call (405) 878-8100.