Oregon’s health care workers spotlighted in ‘Year of the Nurse’ campaign

By Darci Hansen
October 05, 2020
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Main photo: Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s Brianna Mishler (left) and Kathy Perko are among those highlighted in Portland Monthly’s Year of the Nurse series | Image: Ben McBee (Portland Monthly)

While this year has proved to be trying for so many of us, our health care workers in particular have taken on tremendous challenges in caring for patients and their own families during the pandemic.

In coordination with Portland Monthly magazine, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon set out to find nurses from all walks of life to hear their stories and thank them. These stories will be featured in a special section of Portland Monthly’s upcoming October/November issue as part of its “Year of the Nurse” campaign.

Nurses’ immense sacrifice deserves an equally oversized demonstration of appreciation, so alongside the articles, the campaign will put their portraits on billboards, the sides of buildings, and even on Oregon’s public transportation. We may never be able to fully grasp what these nurses have gone through this year, but hopefully these tributes help express our gratitude for all the work they have done to protect our communities and loved ones from COVID-19.

Along the way, we met frontline workers in McMinnville and Vancouver who conducted countless tests in the face of panic and limited information. We heard from a trauma nurse, who saves lives in the same hospital where he was born. Several more shared how the pandemic is influencing them emotionally and affecting the lives of their family members.

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Portland Monthly’s Year of the Nurse series highlights John Rodriguez of Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center | Image: Ben McBee (Portland Monthly)

The extent of this virus leaves no one untouched; one Corvallis-based nurse who works in behavioral and mental health noted the uptick in people reaching out to him for guidance. His response? You’re not alone in all of this.

All nurses, including the eight featured in this campaign, are heroes in every sense of the word, but they are also humans just like the rest of us. Perhaps the best form of appreciation we can all show them is to wash our hands regularly, keep wearing a mask and continue to follow physical distancing protocols so that their fight is not in vain.

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