Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu (second from right) thanks a Vernon Jubilee Hospital employee for their work with breakfast Tuesday morning, Dec. 14. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu (second from right) thanks a Vernon Jubilee Hospital employee for their work with breakfast Tuesday morning, Dec. 14. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

North Okanagan hospital staff spirits boosted with burritos

Harwinder Sandhu, former nurse, sponsors breakfast for healthcare workers to say thank you

In what was likely to be the first of many surprises and celebrations on her last day of work as a nurse, Cinthia Weed happily accepted breakfast outside Vernon Jubilee Hospital Tuesday, Dec. 14.

As she joined colleagues heading into the Polson tower, Weed, who works in the recovery room, grabbed a breakfast burrito and coffee, courtesy of former VJH surgical nurse turned Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu.

“I’ve given her patients when she worked on the surgical floor,” said Weed, retiring after 27 years of nursing, the last 25 at VJH, of Sandhu. “This breakfast is very nice. It’s a very nice gesture on Harwinder’s part. Nice of her to plan it on my last day.”

For Sandhu, handing out burritos from Gord Oh’s Food Truck, as well as coffee, tea and juice boxes, was important to show the healthcare workers they are appreciated.

“We see what they do and what they’ve gone through for nearly the last two years,” said Sandhu. “There’a lot of stuff happening…I hear about it everyday. My husband still works here and my daughter is in support services. They tell me what’s happening.

“There’s not a single day goes by I don’t think about our healthcare workers, not only here but in the community and nursing homes and other communities. I just wanted to show a little token of appreciation and to say ‘I see you, I hear you and I’m here to support you any way I can.’”

All of which made Sandhu’s former Level 7 surgical floor colleague, Nurse Lindsay, feel great as she started her shift.

“This (breakfast) is lovely,” she said. “It boosts the spirit. It’s been a rough year. This is very nice.”

When not doling out breakfast, Sandhu was getting caught up with former colleagues.

“It was good to see everybody, some I haven’t seen in a long time,” she said. “I call VJH staff ‘my family,’ and I also worked in community nursing in Vernon so those were my two families I had when I moved to Vernon as I didn’t have any other family here.”

The breakfast at VJH was conducted at shift change so the night staff also got some food and drink as they left work.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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