Frontline workers honored in parade

Staff at Sovah Health-Martinsville lineup to watch a parade in appreciation of their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Brandon Martin

Joining a nationwide effort to support frontline healthcare workers, staff members of Sovah Health were treated to a parade in their honor on May 14.

Emergency Medical Services workers from Bassett Rescue Squad take part in a parade to honor frontline healthcare workers at Sovah Health-Martinsville.

During the “Frontline Heroes Parade, staff lined up in front of the main entrance to Sovah Health in Martinsville and Danville while residents, law enforcement and public safety workers waved, chanted and sounded sirens in appreciation of their efforts during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Henry County Public Safety workers line the route for the “Frontline Heroes Parade” at Sovah Health-Martinsville.

Dale Alward, chief executive officer at Sovah Health-Martinsville, said that the idea for a parade was pitched during a COVID-19 meeting by “if I’m remembering correctly, one of the fire/EMS workers, and we thought, if you guys want to do something like that, then we would be honored.” He said the idea morphed from there with his Chief Operating Officer Tory Shepherd taking the lead with coordination.

A motorcade of law enforcement officers from the City of Martinsville and Henry County drive by in solidarity with frontline healthcare workers during a parade at Sovah Health-Martinsville.

“It went together relatively easy. You know why? Because people really wanted to do it,” Shepherd said. “Everybody was immediately ready to go.”

She added that she thought the event turned out “really well” and she was “moved by the show of support, knowing that we are all here to support one another.”

Cars drive by and cheer on frontline health care workers during a parade held at Sovah-Health Martinsville.

Martinsville City Council Member Danny Turner attended to lend his support as well.

“As a representative of the city, I just wanted to come out today in solidarity with the rest of the community to extend my thanks to the frontline workers here at Sovah,” he said. “Their work is greatly needed during this time and my hat goes off to the organizers for leading the charge.”

“What a great turnout,” Alward said. “I’m so glad we could be here today and we are happy to celebrate.”

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