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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Schools go blue to show support for healthcare workers

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, Ark- While many of the eight school districts in Craighead County are rivals, they are all coming together today for one goal: to wear blue.

From Jonesboro to Riverside, students and staff at Craighead County school districts are wearing blue today to show their support for local frontline healthcare workers.

“It’s such a pleasure to be onsite and to say, ‘thank you,’ as we know the sacrifices these ladies and gentlemen have made here in the hospital. And so many of our medical facilities in our community,” says Jonesboro Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Willbanks.

In addition to wearing blue, students made four hundred cards that they donated today to St. Bernards healthcare workers.

Angie Smith, the hospital's vice president of nursing, says the cards will go to various areas at the hospital. Including their five Covid units and, while it might be a small way to say thank you, Smith says its reach is far and wide.

Just these little, small shows of encouragement, support [is] so meaningful. Our staff need to look forward to something today,” says Smith. “And this is one of the things they can look on and focus on while they’re out there. It also really focuses us on our mission and why we are here, to care for every patient and do what Christ would.”

The idea to wear blue to show appreciation for healthcare workers started in April 2020. People across the country began to wear the color.

Dr. Willbanks says, when they heard healthcare workers needed a boost, they knew they wanted to help.

“As we navigated through the education system, that didn’t change, but we added an extra layer to that," the superintendent said. "So, we certainly can empathize to some degree, what it’s like to still be asked to do your regular job but then do just a little bit more."

St. Bernards Pulmonary and Critical Care physician Dr. Josh Morrison appreciates of the support, as healthcare workers feel the toll of the delta variant.

“It’s been a hard year, year and a half now. This second surge has been especially…emotionally draining and challenging. And so, all the school districts have really shown their support,” says Dr. Morrison.


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