Inspired by nurses, Bristol Hospital sends message of support to Las Vegas

Published on Monday, 9 October 2017 21:25
Written by Lorenzo Burgio


BRISTOL - Bristol Hospital showed its support for the hospital and medical center that cared for the majority of the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Bristol Hospital Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Chris Ann Meaney contacted her nursing colleagues at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, and University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, to express the hospital’s support to all the providers caring for the shooting victims and to see how Bristol Hospital could help.

When Meaney heard back, she explained that the medical center and hospital expressed for Bristol Hospital to “send love” and emotional support for the team.

“We prepare for disasters like that, but can’t prepare for the amount of turmoil that’s put on your team,” Meaney said. “We hope the staff in Las Vegas understands to pause and take care of themselves. As health care providers, it’s important to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.”

Meaney and the nursing leadership of Bristol Hospital decided on two large vinyl banners produced and donated by Elm Press of Terryville. They were filled with powerful messages throughout the day Monday by hospital staff, volunteers and families who signed the banners and let medical staff in Las Vegas know they are in their thoughts.

The banners were brought to the operating room for staff to sign, and then were stationed in the cafeteria throughout the day for other staff members. Each of the Las Vegas hospitals will receive one of the banners and a video made by the hospital that includes messages from staff and Bristol Hospital President Kurt Barwis.

One of the staff members signing the banners was Nursing Professional Development Coordinator Valerie Varanelli. She explained the idea to show support began in the nursing department, but was quickly adopted by the entire hospital.

“The banners are a way to help, which is so important,” she said, after writing messages on the banners.  “It’s our way of supporting them. The best thing to do this week is letting them know they’re still in our thoughts.”

Evan Weiss, clinical coordinator at the Bristol Hospital emergency center, also signed the banners. He explained that the amount of patients the hospitals saw and helped was incredible.

“There was amazing work on the hospitals’ behalf. My heart goes out to everyone affected,” he said. “We are coming together and keeping each other up. We do it because that’s what you do to help people.”

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at or at 860-973-5088.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News on Monday, 9 October 2017 21:25. Updated: Monday, 9 October 2017 21:28.