KNOXVILLE – As the one-year mark of the pandemic passes with cautious optimism, Knoxville-area hospital systems are launching a public thank you campaign to honor health care workers throughout our region who have selflessly delivered superior resources and compassionate care to patients and their families.

Blount Memorial Hospital, Covenant Health, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Tennova Healthcare, and The University of Tennessee Medical Center are collaborating on a campaign of storytelling, from the perspective of patients, to share gratitude for local health care workers across social media and local media outlets.

“Day-to-day health care doesn’t stop in a pandemic. Babies are born, broken arms are set, and lifesaving procedures are performed under additional stress. We want to emphasize that all health care workers deserve our thanks, whether an emergency room doctor or an administrative staff member supporting building maintenance. Thanks to all of them, our community fought through a difficult year and is moving ahead with even more strength and perseverance,” the hospital collaborative said in a joint statement.

The official kickoff of appreciation was Tuesday, March 30, with the observance of Doctors’ Day, an annual, international day of recognition in celebration of the dedication and impact of physicians. The recognition will continue with Nurses Week (May 6-12) and Hospitals Week (May 9-15).

The campaign includes public service announcements, videos and content created to honor health care workers. Local media partners including WATE-TV, WBIR-TV, WVLT-TV, the Knoxville News Sentinel, and B97.5, have joined the campaign and will broadcast these moments of gratitude across their listening, reading and viewing platforms.

The hospitals also have planned special events and recognition for staff.

The hospital systems invite the East Tennessee community to offer acknowledgment to health care workers both in person by saying, “thank you,” or online using the hashtag, #thankyouhealthcareworkers.