Caring for Caregivers

Help us care for our front line caregivers

During the COVID-19 crisis, health care workers are not only struggling with long hours and difficult conditions. They’re reeling under a heavy burden of grief. See what it feels like on the front lines in this beautiful and moving poem from Allina Health nurse Erin Pommeranz.

Gown, mask, goggles, gloves.

I enter your mother’s room.
The room where she will take her last breath.
I dial your number, my hands shaking.
“Calm and comfortable,”
The words I use to carefully describe her to you.
You let out a sigh of relief.
Over the phone,
Through the camera lens,
One last time
you see her brown, loving eyes that once filled the room with sparkle and joy.
You see her soft hands that once cradled you as a child.

You see your mother, frail and weak.
Her body is ready.
You are not.
“It’s not fair,” you say through tears.
I agree, my tears and breath clouding the goggles.
A stranger, with purple gloves on, holds your mother’s hand in her final moments,
Not her son of 63 years.

The virus took her life,
took the honor of loved ones gathering.
Of singing her favorite hymn, Borning Cry,
Of sharing that memory of when she burnt the Thanksgiving Day pie,
Of having you be the one to tuck the blanket under her feet, just how she likes.

She breathes in one last time.

We share our tears together,
Honoring the grief,
The heaviness of this moment.
We pause in the stillness,
Letting her spirit go.

Deep breath.

I push the small, red circle and we disconnect.

Remove gloves, goggles, mask, gown.

 

This poem is dedicated to all health care workers who have held the hand of a COVID-19 patient when their loved one could not...


The role of front line caregivers and all those who make our essential services possible has never been more crucial. We want to do all we can to support health care workers who are caring for a growing number of coronavirus patients. We’ve created the Caring for Caregivers fund to provide immediate financial support for our employees who experience financial challenges during this crisis.

"My family and I want to sincerely thank you for your generosity. You have helped make our stress a little lighter. Thank you!"
~ An Allina Health caregiver

New: matching gift opportunity
Our leadership team and board members have pledged their support to help fellow Allina Health employees, especially during the COVID-19 response. They are matching all donations dollar for dollar, up to $1 million. Now you can help health care workers with your donation and double your impact.

Spread the word: Say thank you to our caregivers

Visit our Caring for Caregivers online store, and voice your support for health care workers and caregivers. All net proceeds go to our Caring for Caregivers fund.

collage of some of the available stay at home products like window clings and yard signs

Merchandise

  • Yard signs (Front—thank you; Back—#stayhomeMN/WI)
  • Window clings
  • More items to come

Free downloads

  • Download and print our coloring pages to decorate and display on your home’s front window. Encourage neighbors and friends to do the same. Then post your artwork on social media with the #caring4caregivers hashtag and we'll share on our social channels.
  • Social media profile pic frames (Visit facebook.com/profilepicframes and search Allina Health.)

Thank you for Caring for Caregivers

Your kind words keep us going. Thank you.

To share your message of appreciation for caregivers, tag your photos with #caring4caregivers (log into Instagram first to follow this link).

You are heros
Thank you notes
Thank you hospital and person drawing