Due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 trends in Southwest Iowa, CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs has decided to postpone the Mercy Heritage Awards scheduled for August 26 at the Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center.
"The health of our community is our top priority," said Ann Schumacher, president of CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs. "We are very concerned about the delta variant’s transmissibility among the unvaccinated, and in discussions with our top medical and infectious disease physicians, we feel it is safest for the community to postpone this celebration."
Dr. Christopher Elliott, chief medical officer at CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs, said the resurgence of the virus, along with the excessive ease of transmission between contacts, especially among unvaccinated people, is a serious health concern.
"Our mission is to care for our patients and our community. Given the current situation of increasing COVID cases, the best course of action is to postpone the awards until we can all celebrate safely together."
The Mercy Heritage Awards, a long-standing tradition in Southwest Iowa for over 30 years, honors individuals for their lifetime of leadership and selfless service.
The Mercy Heritage Award recipients scheduled to be honored include Jerry Mathiasen, Arts & Humanities; Larry Winum, Business; Martha Bruckner, Education; and Marie Knedler, Health & Human Services.
Mathiasen commended Mercy Council Bluffs for prioritizing the health of all in the community. "As the Mercy Heritage Awards is traditionally one of the largest in the metro area, we believe the hospital’s decision to postpone makes sense," said Mathiasen. "The health experts at CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs realize that the gathering of hundreds of people inside the Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center is a concern right now. The cliché ‘being safe rather than sorry’ seems fitting, especially as our local healthcare teams are working tirelessly on the front line." "Thank you to everyone who supports this event, and we look forward to celebrating with the community safely at the rescheduled event," he added.
The Mercy Heritage Awards is the hospital’s largest fundraiser with the proceeds providing funding for important educational opportunities, conference attendance and professional development for nurses and caregivers.
Current tickets will be honored at the rescheduled event (date still to be determined). For more information on how to support CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs now and in the future, please reach out to Abby Jares, development officer, at (712) 328-5372 or Abby.Jares@chihealth.com