(STOCKTON, CA) November 1, 2023 – Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center (SJMC) held their second annual Blessing of the Rigs and First Responders event on Wednesday, November 1st, in recognition of National First Responders Day (October 28th).
SJMC offered a county-wide invitation to all city and county fire, police, sheriff and highway patrol departments, and county ambulance companies to attend. Festivities entailed a drive-thru interfaith blessing of the vehicles and first responders, which also included air medical services and motorcycles.
"We are delighted to have the ability to celebrate National First Responders Day and recognize our local heroes in a very special way,” said Tammy Shaff, Director of Community Health with St. Joseph’s Medical Center. “Our community is extremely fortunate for the sacrifices our frontline workers make daily. With extreme fire seasons, and unimaginable violence plaguing our community, showing our appreciation is the least we could do."
Nearly 40 first responders attended, with Chaplains from the Spiritual Services Department performing the blessings for the first responders and their respective rigs. In addition to the blessing, each first responder received lunch and a token to show appreciation from SJMC.
“The work of our first responders, like the work of our healthcare colleagues, is never ending,” said Sister Abby Newton, OP, Vice President Mission Integration. “It is important to foster one another’s resilience and commitment to our common lifesaving missions. We know we don't do this work alone, but rather together for the health of the community we call home.”
For more information on St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s Community Health programs, please visit https://www.dignityhealth.org/central-california/locations/stjosephs-stockton/about-us/community-programs.
About St. Joseph’s Medical Center
Dignity Health St. Joseph's Medical Center is a not-for-profit, fully accredited, regional hospital with 355 beds, a physician staff of over 700, and more than 2,700 employees. Specializing in cardiovascular care, comprehensive cancer services, and women and children's services, St. Joseph's is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and underserved. As a Sponsoring Institution for Graduate Medical Education, St. Joseph’s supports rapidly growing educational programs for both resident physicians and medical students. In addition to being nationally recognized as a quality leader, St. Joseph's is consistently chosen as the "most preferred hospital" by local consumers. St. Joseph's is the largest hospital, as well as one of the largest private employers in San Joaquin County. Founded in 1899 by Fr. William O'Connor and administered by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, St. Joseph's continues to lead the region in medical innovation. St. Joseph's Medical Center is a member of Dignity Health/CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit Catholic health system with care sites across 21 states dedicated to advancing health for all people. For more information, please visit DignityHealth.org/Stockton.