Anyone visiting or driving by Dignity Health Mercy Folsom Hospital couldn’t help but notice the glow of abundant lights surrounding the facility as nightfall arrived Friday. From hundreds of luminaries lining the sidewalks along Creekside drive and throughout the parking lot, to the rooftop of the facility aglow with lights, staff and visitors were greeted with the shining showcase of gratitude that was all part of “Nurses Light Up the Sky,” a nationwide campaign that has spanned the nation this past week to rally citizens in support of nurses, often known as the “unsung heroes” of first responders and healthcare. 

“Tonight, we come together to light up the sky for our remarkable nurses and healthcare team, who embody our mission of care and compassion every single day,” said Lisa Hausmann, MSN, RN who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Dignity Healthy Mercy Folsom hospital. “The lights illuminating the night sky symbolize the collective strength and resilience of our nurses and healthcare team, who bring holistic care and healing to our community.  It serves as a visual representation of the light they bring into the lives of our patients.”

Advertisement

During the past week, which is bannered as Nurses Week, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has encouraged and rallied hospitals across the country light up more than 50 city skylines, landmarks, and participating hospitals across the country as part of the organization’s “Nurses Light Up the Sky” campaign, an event that is not only about the nurses across the country, but to the communities they are within as well.

Folsom Times Video: Mercy Folsom Light up the Sky 2024

“By lighting up the sky, we not only acknowledge our team’s hard work and dedication but also convey a message of gratitude to the entire community for the support we have received in return,” Hausmann shared with Folsom Times. “Our commitment to this community remains unwavering, and we are excited to continue to meet its evolving needs. Together, we look forward to continuing to build a strong and thriving community for all. The shining lights serves as a beacon of hope and appreciation, underscoring the importance of supporting one another especially during times of need.”

Advertisement

Hausmann  joined members of the hospital nursing staff to strategically place and light the many luminaries around the facility before sundown Friday night. The display consisted of traditional luminaries, made of decorate white paper bag, weighted to remain upright with a small scoop of sand and illuminated by battery powered tea light candles that were glowing all through the night, bringing smiles to those on those leaving their dayshift as well as those who were arriving throughout the night that work on the hospital’s night shift.

“This is something that really special for the night shift as they arrive to work and feel appreciated,” said Dignity Health RN Chelsea Huss, who joined Haussman and the others to help arrange the display Friday evening. “We do a lot of appreciation events during the day that our night shift misses out on so this is extra special for them.” 

Advertisement

Huss has been with Mercy Folsom for 20-years and is a lifetime Folsom resident. She expressed her gratitude for her longtime employer as Dignity Health Mercy Folsom has long been known for showing its appreciation for its workers and the community at large. 

Advertisement

“This is my home I have been here for 20 years. I have lived in the Folsom area my whole life and I have no interest in ever going anywhere else, we are truly a family here.” said Huss, who was instrumental in organizing Friday’s luminary event and was joined by not only members of the local hospital staff but additional volunteers from out the state who work in healthcare that came out to help create the spectacle. “They are here in town visiting friends and family and were excited about this and came out to help us,” Huss explained.

Karen Buckley was another member of the Mercy Folsom RN staff outside of he hospital helping with the display.  Buckley has a long career in healthcare, she been with Dignity Health for six years and joined the Folsom staff six months ago. Like Huss, the staff of Mercy Folsom has become her family and Friday’s tribute was another testament to that.

Advertisement

“For many years Nurses week was combined with hospital week, this year its separate and when Chelsea brought up the idea of the luminaries for light up the sky, I knew we just had to do this,” said Buckley. “This is pretty special for all of us, Folsom is now my forever home.”

Throughout the evening Friday and into the early hours of the morning, workers, visitors and first responders were coming and going at the Mercy Folsom campus, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year as well. The unique celebration was enjoyed by all who witnessed it, many who took a moment to stop and enjoy it, others who snapped photos and videos to capture the memory. Some motorists driving by were seen pulling over to get a view of it as well, enjoying it as a community.

“Our commitment to this community remains unwavering, and we are excited to continue to meet its evolving needs. Together, we look forward to continuing to build a strong and thriving community for all,” added Hausmann.

Next week Mercy Folsom will continue to honor its entire staff during national Hospitals Week with a number of celebrations as well.

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.