Texas Health holds memorial service to mark one year since COVID-19 pandemic began

One year into the pandemic, the Texas Health Hospital System pauses for a somber observance. It is also cautioning people the danger has not passed.

Organizers say the events this week are designed to help the community come to terms with the lives lost during the past 12 months.

Texas Health Resources commemorated Monday those patients lost to COVID-19, survivors and its staff, which continues to provide care.

 There was poetry, moments of silence and reflection of one full year battling and learning from COVID-19.

"There’s been some relief in the idea that as we’ve gotten to know more you feel more confident about the care you give to patients," said Dr. Sheilah Chutani, Chief of Staff at Texas Health Hospital Dallas.

From the Dallas hospital to Fort Worth, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital made a display of white flags to recognize the one-year mark.

"Our staff has seen more critically ill patients this last year and more deaths and more sorrow than some of us have seen our entire careers," said Stephanie McClaran, a nurse supervisor.

It was a somber observance with expressions of love, hope and faith.

"Obviously with healthcare workers in the public getting the vaccines, we are hopeful. But it’s not over. We are still losing patients this week," McClaran said. "I think it’s important to know that COVID has changed us forever."

 Texas Health says an important aspect throughout has been the mental health of its doctors, nurses and other staff. It’s something it continues to make a priority.