The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

St. Bernards Healthcare hosts Day of Reflection and Healing

Published May 5, 2022

In solidarity with health care providers across Arkansas, St. Bernards Healthcare in Jonesboro observed a Day of Reflection and Healing April 27 to acknowledge COVID-19’s impacts on communities. The day is organized by the independent health policy organization, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.

Since March 13, 2020, St. Bernards Medical Center has cared for more than 4,200 people with COVID-19. The hospital recorded its highest patient volumes in January 2022, peaking with 128 hospitalized COVID patients.

St. Bernards Healthcare president and CEO Chris Barber said the virus has claimed nearly 2,800 lives in the 23 counties that St. Bernards serves in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. The state has surpassed 11,000 deaths.

Sister Johanna Marie Melnyk, St. Bernards vice president of mission and ethics, encouraged thankfulness for the efforts made to fight the virus and for fewer infections recently throughout Arkansas.

“We’ll always mourn the loved ones we’ve lost, but Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew: ‘Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted,’” Sister Johanna Marie said. “God is close to us even in the difficult times.”

She said setting aside a day can bring healing.

“I invite each person in our community to join us, taking a few moments for quiet reflection, meditation, prayer and Scripture reading,” she said. “Give your family and friends an extra hug. Tell them, ‘I love you.’ And let’s not forget to offer thanks for some blessing in our lives. As the Psalmist wrote, ‘Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his mercy endures forever.’”