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A show of gratitude: Portland healthcare workers enjoy parade in their honor

Portland Police and Portland Fire & Rescue led a procession through the city to six different hospitals.

PORTLAND, Oregon — The idea of sharing has gotten a bad rap since the coronavirus showed up.

Sharing cheer, however, was on the agenda for today at Portland-area hospitals. “This was an exciting and emotional event for everyone who came up here,” said Lieutenant Tina Jones with the Portland Police Bureau. “We have so many folks on the front lines in so many ways.”

A parade that started at OHSU may not have been unexpected, but it was certainly appreciated. Portland Police and Portland Fire & Rescue led a Wave of Gratitude that made a total of six stops across the city.

“We all have our duties and responsibilities in our chosen profession, but we want to make sure we recognize the folks who are taking the most risk right now, those in our medical profession, and we love and support them,” Lt. Jones said.

“It means a lot to us, just the support and them coming out to appreciate us,” said Sunita Patel, a member of the environmental services team at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, she and her coworkers disinfect the hospital, a vital job these days.

Talking to her and the rest of the environmental services team, one word comes to mind—strength. “We’re blessed to be here,” Patel said.

The powerful procession didn’t touch anyone today, but it still managed to reach everyone. “I have a sister who’s an E.R. nurse in another state,” said Lt. Jones. “For me personally, I know what they’re doing on the front lines.”

While the handshakes and hugs will have to wait for another day, this curve-flattening, spirit-lifting parade was the perfect gift for these unsung medical heroes.

“Our efforts are paying off and so we just want to remain committed to making this difference out here and persevering. It’s not easy, but we’re doing a good job on the whole, and we’re saving lives, each and every one of us,” said Jones.

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