15,000 SSM health care workers to receive gifts of gratitude for hard work during pandemic


ST. LOUIS – The past year has been no picnic, so the bosses at SSM Health in St. Louis think their employees deserve one.

Fifteen- thousand SSM health care workers will receive gifts of gratitude for their challenging work during the pandemic soon.

SSM Health Foundation President Paul Ross described what is going into each employee gift.

“A picnic blanket they can use, a grocery store gift card, we’ve also got a meditation and prayer card for everybody, and a very nice letter from all of our leadership to say thank you,” Ross said.

Plus, a Schnucks tote bag.

“We know the last year has been no picnic so we’re extending a picnic on us to say thank you to all of our caregivers,” Ross said.

The SSM Health Foundation says generous donations from corporations and individuals paid for the special gifts that were assembled at the SSM Health Warehouse.

From the Warehouse, they will be shipped to seven hospitals and medical groups.

“It’s been a really a tough year. I think they’ve had to be very resilient and pivot quickly,” Dr. Don Tran, president of the SSM Health Medical Group said. “They’ve also had to make adjustments on the fly.”

About 60 members of the SSM Health leadership team are out of their comfort zones doing warehouse work to pack the boxes for their employees.

They say it feels really good to do it.

“Every ministry that’s done, we clap and celebrate,” Senior Human Resources Director at SSM Health Angela Schlansker said. “That’s one ministry that’s ready to go to the employees.”

The helpers shared what they would normally be doing during a normal workday.

“I’m an accountant so normally I’m doing debit and credits,” SSM Health CFO Tim Buller said.

Maureen Herrmann with the SSM Health Foundation said, “I usually have the wonderful opportunity and the pleasure to share the wonderful work of the SSM ministries.”

“I’m part of our HR team for the St. Louis region I support the SSM medical group,” Schlansker said.

The gifts of gratitude will be distributed to SSM Health employees next week.

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