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A group delivers flowers on April 2. Pictured: Jeff McClain, Director of Children’s Ministry Colette Krontz, Director of Worship and The Arts Dana Davis, Director of Communications Kelly Broman-Fulks, Michaele Haas, President of Watauga Medical Center Kim Bianca and Director of Inpatient Nursing Services for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Kathy Gustaveson.

BOONE — Boone United Methodist Church delivered flower arrangements on April 2 to various Watauga Medical Center departments to thank health care workers for their work this past year.

“This has been a difficult year for so many people in the High County,” said Jeff McLain, pastor of congregational care at Boone United Methodist Church. “Employees at the hospital have responded heroically in very demanding circumstances. We are so grateful for their hard work and for the tremendous service they have provided throughout this past year.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the members of the church were not able to go inside the hospital to give out the flowers, but President of Watauga Medical Center Kim Bianca and Director of Inpatient Nursing Services for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Kathy Gustaveson were there to receive the flowers and take them side.

“This is incredible,” Bianca said. “Our staff have been incredible. They have really just stepped up every single day to take care of patients and I just think that these outpourings from the community to help them know the community supports them, I just can’t even tell you how much it means. It just means to world to them.”

Bianca said staff at Watauga Medical Center are feeling very hopeful and encouraged.

“We are seeing our numbers starting to come down in regards to the folks who are hospitalized, which is also a good thing,” Bianca said. “We are seeing, though, that folks are coming in and they’re sicker. Not with COVID-19, but sick because maybe they delayed their care.”

Bianca said she wants people to know they shouldn’t delay care and to make sure to visit their primary care physician.

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