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Orillia hospital staff celebrated at 'Gratitude Friday' event

'It’s been a tough time for us over the last couple of years. It’s nice to occasionally get some relief,' says OSMH pharmacist

Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) staff were treated Friday afternoon to a barbecue, games, fun and an opportunity to dunk the boss.

Carmine Stumpo, president and CEO of OSMH, says the “Gratitude Friday” event aims to encourage staff to slow down, take a break, look after themselves and enjoy the day’s activities.

“I think we all appreciate how much of a challenge it’s been over the summer,” he said. “We want to let our staff know that we appreciate them and we are very grateful for their work.”

Stumpo says it’s important for staff to have opportunities to get outside, socialize, and refresh.

“We do very serious and important work,” he said. “We need to enjoy ourselves, have a bit of fun, and not take ourselves too seriously.”

Seeing staff with smiles on their faces and enjoying a meal was gratifying, says Stumpo, who took a turn in the dunk tank.

“Nothing makes me happier than seeing people relaxed and enjoying company in a safe way,” he said. “It’s been so isolating to work in an environment such as ours with masks.”

Hospital staff were encouraged to extend the good vibes with a visit to the See You on the Patio event in downtown Orillia. Friday’s event is held in honour of front-line health-care workers as part of the “Gratitude to Soldiers’ Team Members Night.”

Louise Martin, a pharmacist at OSMH, says being able to unwind and have some fun Friday was much needed.

“It’s been a tough time for us over the last couple of years,” she said. “It’s nice to occasionally get some relief.”

She says working in health care during the pandemic has been “very challenging.”

“We’ve had staffing challenges and very sick patients,” she said. “The sickness of our patients has increased, so we are seeing more people with bigger complex needs than we used to.”

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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