Franciscan healthcare workers at its Southside and Mooresville hospitals are to be honored with identical memorials placed near key entry locations at each site for their efforts to care for all Covid patients.
As 2020 unfolded, health authorities at each hospital had little if any knowledge of the mysterious illness named Covid-19 that eventually brought thousands of patients to each hospital. The coronavirus claimed many lives, but as the three-year pandemic lasted, caregivers remained steadfast in their battle against the dreaded illness.
Most caregivers at all levels adjusted to the demands at each hospital campus and are to be honored with permanent and identical memorials. Each hospital campus will have a bronze, double-sided sculpture of the distinct Tau, the symbol of St. Francis of Assisi as he ministered to the sick.
Funding for both memorials comes solely from the generous donations of grateful former patients, Franciscan physicians, medical and support staff, and corporate partners.
The sculpture represents Franciscan Health and honors St. Francis and those who follow his example of continuing Christ’s ministry in the Franciscan tradition.
Beneath the sculpture will be a bronze plaque worded: In Memory of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response at Franciscan Health – A Recognition of Service. Franciscan Health honors the physicians, nurses and countless other dedicated staff who demonstrated bravery, dedication, innovation, and compassion during the COVID-19 pandemic. They leave a legacy of leadership and commitment never to be forgotten. We honor their sacrifice with this memorial.
“We wanted to find a lasting and proper way to honor all of those who answered the call to duty throughout the pandemic ordeal,” said Sister Marlene Shapley, OSF, vice president of mission integration for Franciscan Health Central Indiana. “At every level, they tirelessly have given their all to deliver an unparalleled depth of compassionate care to the patients we are privileged to serve. This memorial will serve as a permanent reminder of our staff’s unwavering professionalism and dedication.”
Sister Marlene, Christopher Doehring, MD (vice president of medical affairs); Kelli Searles (vice president of marketing) and Julie Glover (director of patient safety) formed the project’s core planning group.
The Tau sculpture is being re-created by local artist Ryan Feeney who is best known for his bronze statue of former Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, which greets visitors to Lucas Oil Stadium.
Franciscan is tentatively planning a dedication of both memorials by late May.
Tau image of the sculpture is a clay model before it is cast in bronze.