KGH nurses and COHA nurses with hug scarves. (COHA)

KGH nurses and COHA nurses with hug scarves. (COHA)

Central Okanagan Hospice Association finds way to ‘hug’ healthcare workers

Hug scarves were created and made for Kelowna healthcare workers

For the past two years, hugs have been put on hold to lessen the spread of COVID-19, however, sometimes people just need a hug.

Healthcare workers are these people — enduring staff shortages while having increased patient care and risk of COVID-19 infection during the pandemic.

As a way to say thank you for dealing with the everyday demand and keeping their head up despite the circumstances, the staff at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and the Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA) has created over 200 hug scarves to show some appreciation.

The ends of each hug scarf are shaped like a hand to symbolize a warm hug when wrapped around the body.

Natasha Girard, executive director of the Central Okanagan Hospice Association, said the hand shape is meant to provide warmth and comfort to healthcare workers as a reminder that they are never alone.

“We have been working on this initiative for a couple of months and we are thrilled to show our gratitude to the KGH frontline workers who are working under extreme circumstances. They have worn many hats caring for patients, and we appreciate every single one of them. This is a small way for us to share our love and hugs at any time of day when needed,” she said.

The Central Okanagan Hospice Association works closely with frontline workers and has seen firsthand the strain the pandemic is putting on the entire health care system.

The creation of these scarves was a community effort, COHA and its volunteers worked closely with Charity Chicks, Meagan Hughes from Cottage Quilting, Fabricland and Brand Central.

The Central Okanagan Hospice Association has been supporting the Central Okanagan, from Peachland to Lake Country, for over 39 years.

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