HARLINGEN — Respected and appreciated.
The physicians, nurses and other medical staff at Harlingen Medical Center received that message well Wednesday morning as they waved to a procession of law enforcement vehicles.
“What stood out, it was representative of all of Cameron County all the way to Los Fresnos,” said Mitchell Everett, pharmacy representative at HMC.
The Harlingen Police Department, Cameron County Emergency Management and other agencies Wednesday joined U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Protection to show support for medical professionals dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
The procession, titled “Honoring Healthcare Heroes,” began at Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville. The convoy of law enforcement vehicles with flashing red and blue lights traveled north to Harlingen where it first passed the front entrance of HMC. The procession continued to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. The vehicles then traveled to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen before making a pass at the VBMC back in Brownsville.
At HMC, medical staff dressed in blue or maroon scrubs and the now-customary face masks stood outside the hospital where they’ve labored these many months to treat COVID-19 patients.
The hours have been long. The overwhelming flood of patients has sorely taxed the physical and emotional capacities of their attendants. The challenge has revealed an even greater capacity for perseverance and dedication.
That fidelity has grabbed the attention of many in the community both near and far, thus the great fanfare of recognition Wednesday.
First in the procession masked Brownsville Police officers on motorcycles with flashing headlights.
Engines growled as sirens clamored from vehicles bearing logos from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Cameron County Constable, and South Padre Island Police Department, among many others.
Law enforcement officials waved through car windows to appreciative medical professionals.
“It’s awesome,” said a CBP official who gave her name only as Perez.
She nodded to the nurses and doctors and added, “They have been doing an amazing job.”
The salute was a welcome one to doctors and nurses everywhere.
“We are grateful for the support that our community is showing us,” said Matt Wolthoff, CEO at HMC.