Avera Employees and Supporters Tell Us “Why I Mask”
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Alert IconEveryone, age 12 and older, is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit our vaccination resources for more information.  Masks are required for patients, visitors and vendors to enter our facilities.

Published on November 24, 2020

Nathan Johnson mask campaign

Avera Employees and Supporters Tell Us “Why I Mask”

Face coverings in the time of COVID-19 have an important purpose – slowing the spread of the virus – but the personal reasons Avera employees and community members who support Avera are wide-ranging and varied.

Avera joins nationwide efforts to promote the use of masks, and you can join the effort by wearing yours and using the hashtag #MaskUp when you’re on social media.

Here are some of the shared perspectives.

  • Nathan Johnson, Communications Coordinator, Avera Sacred Heart Hospital
    "I wear a mask because I believe in the work of every person. I wear a mask so that people feel safe and businesses can thrive. I wear a mask because I respect and honor health care workers. And, finally, I wear a mask because I believe a pandemic of kindness is the only thing that will get us through this."
  • Mick Gibbs, Avera Heart Hospital President and CEO
    "I wear because I want to set an example for my daughters and my community."
  • Kellie Yackley, Avera St. Mary's Hospital, Avera Foundation Community Giving Officer
    "I mask because I'm a cancer survivor and I have two beautiful new grand babies to protect."
  • Carmen Meyer, Avera St. Luke's Hospital Board of Directors
    "I wear a mask not only to protect myself, but to be respectful of the safety of other people. “Never tire of doing what is right.” II Thessalonians 3:13"
  • Lisa Brandt and MacKenzieLisa Brandt, Access Family Medical Clinic (Worthington, Minn.) Lab Technician
    "We are two generations of Avera employees. MacKenzie is a peds nurse at Avera McKennan and I am a 35-year lab tech in the Worthington clinic. We are all family. MacKenzie is my “baby” and I want to keep her safe as well as the patients I care for. MacKenzie wants to keep all her patient babies safe."
  • Courtney Ehlers, Avera McKennan Assistant Vice President of Inpatient Services
    "Wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, leader. Cancer survivor. Nurse. I mask for me. I mask for the many that depend on me. I mask for my team, so we can be here to care for our community. I mask for you."
  • Robert Santella, MD, Avera Medical Group Nephrologist
    "I wear a mask at work because I care about my dedicated hard working colleagues. I wear a mask in the community because preventing COVID-related deaths far outweighs the negligible impact on personal freedom."
  • Dan Pfarr, Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, IT Desktop Support Technician
    "I wear a mask to help prevent from spreading COVID to my fellow persons, friends and families. Just a very small gesture can reap significant prevention! Happy holidays to everyone!"
  • Jo Oberg, Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, Infection Prevention Nurse
    "I wear a mask to protect my family, my friends and my community. I want to prevent spreading this virus to those that may be vulnerable for serious complications from COVID-19."
  • Dan Florey, MD, Avera Medical Group Tyler, Family Medicine Physician
    "I wear a mask for myself, my family and friends, my patients, and my community. Wearing a mask does help prevent me from getting COVID-19. It helps shield me from the virus and it is a reminder to wash my hands and practice physical distancing. Of course, I would be devastated if my family or friends caught COVID-19 from me, and I will do as much as I can to protect them. As a family physician, I take care of many people in the community and in our nursing home for whom an infection with COVID-19 would be life-threatening. As part of my commitment to providing excellent patient care, I will do my part to protect them from this pandemic."

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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