Honoring our Heroes: WCCH frontline workers to lead Kiwanis parade

Published 9:41 am Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Instead of a single parade marshal this year, the Kiwanis Club of Sulphur has announced it will be “Honoring Our Heroes.”

“Every year, our marshal has been a person who has made a positive difference in the community,” said Randy Broussard, Kiwanis Club Parade Chair.

This year, on Dec. 4, when the parade rolls out promptly at 11 a.m., it will be led by and dedicated to, the dedicated frontline workers of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

“That’s who made a difference this past year,” Broussard said. “That’s who pulled us through.”

The pandemic has been challenging to the hospital, but those challenges have reaped some great rewards, according to Rhonda Canales, RN, Medical/Telemetry Unit, WCCH.

“As a smaller community hospital, we are able to bring a more personal approach to our care because a lot of the time we’re caring for our own neighbors, each other’s relatives, etc.,” Canales said. “It has definitely been a team effort encompassing all levels of care given at WCCH in fighting COVID.”

Nick Parsons, RN, Information Technology, worked as a nurse in the beginning of the pandemic on the second floor, the primary care floor for patients not requiring intensive care. He’s moved into a new position as a clinical analyst and vividly recalls the first days of the pandemic.

“As healthcare workers, we constantly experience changes in our practice as new research becomes available, just not to the extent that was required to meet the rapidly emerging public health crisis,” Parsons said. “Masking, visitation, coordination and prioritization of patient care, and proper PPE were just a few of the considerations that directly impacted the everyday workflow and quality of life of all healthcare employees as well as our patients.

“Through all the challenges we faced as frontline staff working through this experience, we were showered with love and support from not only our community but also from our fellow workers.”

Staff that usually functioned in one area were willing to cross-train and work in others. Food and drinks were delivered throughout the hardest days to help workers sustain 12-hour shifts.

“It is easy to look at the negative experiences around the world, especially in Southwest Louisiana over the past year and a half, but I choose to stay grounded in my gratitude for those that show compassion and love when times get tough,” Parsons said. “West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Employees being honored at the parade by the Kiwanis Club shows me just how much this community has grown and come together through adversity, reinforcing that Southwest La. will continue to prosper no matter the obstacle.”

The parade lineup begins at 9 a.m. at the “S” curve between Maplewood and Cypress and must be completed by 10:30 a.m. Signs should be placed on both street sides of the float/car. No Santa other than the Kiwanis Santa. Do not slow, stop or drop off where the parade ends. Unload at another location.