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National Nurses Week is from May 6 until May 12. The holiday pays homage to nurses for their contributions in the medical field.

Serving Northeast Michigan since 1940, MyMichigan Medical Center staffs over a 1000 workers. As employees who perform the most vital healthcare tasks, nurses are the first point of contact for most patients.

“Nurses week is just a moment to reflect for all of us for the profession that we chose to go into,” said Samantha Gerke, registered nurse at Alpena Medical Center. “The pride that we have in helping our patients from the top of the scale all the way down to everyone that helps us to take care of our patients in the best way that we can.”

According to,  studies show meaningful recognition can reestablish a nurses dedication to their profession. “At times, all that nurses need is just to see the progression in their patient and the outcome of their patient is recognition enough to them,” said Jessica McEwen, director of nursing.

The ongoing pandemic has created nursing shortages nationwide. “COVID has forced us to rethink how we practice nursing and how we practice medicine. It’s forced us to become innovative through technology, tele–medicine, tele–nursing,” said Tom Kane, vice president of nursing.

2020 coincided with a pandemic, causing nurses to put themselves at significant risk to care for their patients. As frontline workers, nurses helped patients get through their most vulnerable times. “Today I won the nurse of the year award for the MyMichigan Medical Health System and I was completely surprised and completely floored by the award and very honored. I can’t imagine getting a better award in this whole wide world than an achievement  for a job that I love,” said Gerke.