United Way, UPMC and community partners thank healthcare workers | News, Sports, Jobs

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RALPH WILSON / Sun-Gazette Hundreds of luminaries, above, lit up the lawn at UPMC Williamsport as part of the Lights of Hope celebration on Friday. The event was a collaboration of UPMC Williamsport, Lycoming County United Way and Sojourner Truth Ministries to celebrate the hope of the New Year.

Luminarias glowing in the twilight on the snow-capped front lawn of UPMC Williamsport sent a message of hope as the COVID-19 pandemic enters a new year.

The 1000 lights are also a way to thank the many healthcare workers who have stepped in when needed in the community.

“I witness the realization of hope” Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter told the few who braved merciless cold and brisk winds to come together for the Lights of Hope celebration late Friday afternoon.

The mayor offered his condolences to those who have lost family and friends to COVID-19, while thanking healthcare providers who have devoted long hours to caring for patients amid the pandemic .

“Once again, I want to thank you” he said.

Ron Reynolds, president of UPMC Muncy and Lock Haven hospitals, said the determination, resilience and sacrifice of healthcare workers were indeed signs of hope.

UPMC staff, he noted, are prepared and adaptable while working in state-of-the-art facilities.

He vowed that the UPMC’s commitment to discipline and vigilance will continue.

Ron Frick, president of Lycoming County United Way, borrowing a quote from George Washington Carver, said: “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”

Centraide rewarded the UPMC health workers with various events.

At the end of December, UPMC employees were able to collect free coffee in several local restaurants.

Frick highlighted the support the UPMC has given to United Way over the years.

“The health of the community is essential”, he said. “Think about the value of our community. “

Fighting for the health of everyone who lives here is an essential mission of Centraide, according to Frick.

Angélique Labadie-Cihanowyz, Executive Director of Sojourner Truth Ministries, addressed a prayer of thanks to all UPMC staff.

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