National Hospital Week, May 8-14, is a time to recognize the health systems and health care workers who care for and protect our communities

To celebrate National Hospital Week, Genesis Health System dedicated 2022 as the Year of Healing by unveiling the Healing Wall in the lobby of the East Campus in Davenport during a press conference Wednesday, May 11, 2022. The wall is an interactive display on which anyone can post a healing message.

In addition to the wall at East campus, Healing Walls will also be installed at the GMC-West Central Park, Silvis, DeWitt, and Aledo medical centers.

Genesis dedicates 2022 as the Year of Healing

Standing next to the Healing Wall, which reads Together, We Remember, We Honor, We are Stronger, We are Resilient, And Together We SHINE, representatives from Love Girls Magazine: Girls On Fire from Washington Jr. High School (Rock Island) opened the event with a poem.

“We’ve felt the emotional toll of this global pandemic as news reports tallied the number of sick patients, and we saw the deaths rise to unimaginable numbers across our world. We’ve had 1 million deaths in the United States alone,” said Doug Cropper, President and CEO of Genesis Health System.

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“Close to home, our resilient health care workers experienced surges of COVID patients that filled our ICUs, medical units, emergency departments, and urgent cares. In addition, the pandemic triggered economic turmoil, brought to light health disparities in our communities, and drove civil unrest and political division. So this Healing Wall serves as a physical presence. It is an uplifting focal point to chronicle the very personal and unique challenges from which we ALL must heal, and also serves as a reminder of the many blessings that will sustain us,” added Cropper.

COVID-19 patient Jeff Galle, a native of Cambridge, Ill., said he is “living proof that miracles do happen.”

Galle, an Illinois College professor of Agriculture, contracted the virus in August of 2021. When he felt his symptoms coming on strong and his breathing becoming labored, he checked himself into Hammond-Henry Hospital in Geneseo, Ill.

“I laid my head on the pillow, and for about six weeks after that, I don’t remember anything, or at least not much. About a day later, they sent me down here to Genesis. Somewhere about the first week of October, I woke up,” said Galle.

Galle’s COVID journey from the day he checked into the hospital to the day he came home lasted three months and 10 days. He survived a cardiac arrest and an extended time on a ventilator.

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“I am back to about 85 percent but still healing, still recovering. My doctor told me recently that he never thought I’d live to see today,” said a grateful Galle.

One of the nurses who cared for Galle was Stacy Wille, BSN, RN, supervisor of the Genesis East Campus Intensive Care Unit.

Wille, who has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, spoke about the last two years of COVID and how it has been a constant adrenaline rush with very few lulls. Constantly admitting new patients, intubating them, and seeing them spend weeks, even months, in the ICU with hopeful highs and devastating lows.

“When I look back on the last two years, I realize that the time is now to heal and forge ahead. It helps to cherish the good that came along with all of the heartaches COVID has brought. I will always remember being one of the first community members in the Quad Cities to receive a vaccination, my daughter Grace being born during a global pandemic, and the many ‘celebrations’ we shared with our patients…birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, putting regular clothes on for the first time in months, and more,” Wille said.

Wille added, “But, what helps me focus on the many blessings and chances to heal forward is the patients we saw go home to their families and loved ones.

The feeling of seeing someone come in on the worst day of their lives and leave on the best in a matter of months is an emotion that will stick with me for the rest of my life. ”

The event also featured prayers of healing offered by four Quad Cities faith leaders – Dr. Lisa Killinger, Rabbi Linda Bertenthal, the Rev. Rogers Kirk Jr., and Bishop Tom Zinkula.

Genesis dedicates 2022 as the Year of Healing
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
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