Gadsden, Anniston Alabama Power employees say ‘thanks’ to health care workers

Gadsden, Anniston Alabama Power employees say ‘thanks’ to health care workers
Members of the Eastern Division's Alabama Power Service Organization showed some love to the health care heroes at Riverview Regional Medical Center in Gadsden. (Spencer Williams)

Eastern Division Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO) members recently celebrated local health care workers with waves, smiles and a special “thank you” parade.

On Oct. 1, 15 Gadsden APSO subarea members hosted a drive-by parade at Riverview Regional Medical Center in Gadsden to thank the health care workers for their dedicated service and long hours of work since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Riding in 12 Alabama Power trucks, employees rolled through the parking lot while waving, honking horns, cheering and smiling at about 60 doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who lined the front entrance and sidewalk. APSO volunteers gave the staff a lunchtime treat by providing 100 meals from local eatery Little Bridge Marina.

“Although the virus has impacted all of society, health care workers have had to serve throughout the pandemic,” said Willette Chambliss, Gadsden APSO subarea chairperson and an Alabama Power real estate specialist. “They have given their time and effort to save and protect us. It was great to do something even as small as giving them lunch to show them that we appreciate them, we are behind them and we thank them for their sacrifice and heroic efforts.”

Susan Moore, director of Marketing and Business Development at Riverview Regional Medical Center, said the recognition from Alabama Power “meant the world” to hospital staff.

“Our employees were extremely honored,” Moore said. “It was very uplifting to see that the community still cares and is praying for us, especially knowing that your guys were just on the Gulf Coast restoring power after Hurricane Sally. It’s uplifting to know that your guys took time away from helping others to make us feel special, loved and appreciated.”

The two lead trucks were decorated with a banner that said, “Thank you, health care workers.” Additionally, Spencer Williams, Alabama Power Eastern Division community relations manager, and Jerri Bain, Gadsden customer service representative, presented a giant thank you card signed by employees to Riverview Regional Medical Center CEO John Langlois.

The idea for the parade came from Eastern Division Vice President Terry Smiley, who challenged employees to find a special way to recognize these front-line workers.

“it was an absolutely awesome experience,” Williams said. “It was great to recognize these guys for their effort and sacrifice because they have not slowed down at all throughout this crisis.”

Meanwhile, Anniston APSO subarea members brought a ray of sunshine to a rainy day, treating local health care workers to a thank you lunch on Sept. 16.

Although their drive-by parade was rained out, APSO volunteers provided 100 meals to Regional Medical Center in Anniston. The meals from area restaurant Rosie’s Gourmet to Go were distributed to nurses, doctors and staff in the COVID-19 unit, emergency room and intensive care unit, as well as the respiratory and occupational health departments. APSO gave 25 meals to the staff at Anniston’s Stringfellow Hospital.

“We have learned a lot of new information concerning COVID-19, the pandemic and these unprecedented times,” said Lagina Fillingim, executive director of Regional Medical Center Foundation. “But there are a few things that have remained the same and those are community support and kindness. Alabama Power is always here for our local health system and we value their partnership.”

Eastern Division APSO is not finished spreading cheer. Gadsden APSO volunteers will soon distribute meals and have a drive-by parade for staff at Gadsden Regional Medical Center.

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