SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Shriners Hospitals for Children has designed a special flag to honor health care workers throughout the Shreveport community.
The miniature window flags, designed in the spirit of the Armed Forces’ ‘Blue Star’ service flag, were created by the hospital to show their appreciation for medical employees who are battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Featuring a red border with a blue medical cross on a white field, the health care worker support flag mirrors the colors of the United States flag and the design of the Blue Star flag long used by military families.
Dating back to World War I, the Blue Star flag was intended to signify the military service of a family member.
In creating the health care support flag, the Shreveport Shriners Hospital sought to provide a way for family members in the area to honor their health care workers during a coronavirus crisis increasingly referred to as a ‘war’.
Shreveport Shriners Hospital Administrator Kim Green said both the wartime language and immense difficulties faced by health care professionals responding to the crisis informed the hospital’s decision to mount a support effort.
Green said, “Now more than ever, all health care workers deserve our unwavering support. Our nation is indeed at war in fighting coronavirus, and our nation’s health care workers are in harm’s way working on the front lines. It is our hope that these flags help allow all those who have family members serving in health care to show their love and support during these harrowing times.”
In response to the pandemic, the Shreveport Shriners Hospital has enacted a number of measures to help protect its patients, families, and staff.
The pediatric orthopaedic and cleft lip/palate facility has substantially reduced outpatient clinic appointments and has postponed all elective surgeries through at least April 30.
The hospital continues to provide care for children with fractures on a referral basis, and maintains a stand-by operating room team for fractures requiring surgery.
The hospital has limited hospital access for families to patients and parents/guardians only, and all individuals entering the building, including all staff, are screened for fever and other signs of illness prior to entry.
Green noted that while the Shreveport Shriners Hospital does not provide care for patients suffering from coronavirus, all health care institutions have vital roles to play in preventing virus spread, supporting all health care workers, and serving as a resource for the broader health care community.
Green added, “Fighting this disease is something that all of us play a role in, from hospitals and health care workers to families who are sheltering at home. Working together and supporting one another, we can and will defeat this enemy.”
To download a printable .pdf of the Shreveport Shriners Hospital’s health care support flag, visit shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/shreveport and scroll down to our flag initiative article under ‘News and events’.